Deepfake awareness campaign turns vegans into meat lovers

  • Steak-umm and ad agency Tombras created deepfake videos of vegans enjoying steak sandwiches.
  • Steak-umm produces 100% beef sandwiches and wanted to highlight the danger of deepfakes.
  • It set up to educate consumers and gain support for the Deep Fake Accountability Act.

Steak-umm was faced with some angry vegans after confronting them with video evidence of them eating and enjoying meat.

The company produces 100% beef sandwiches and is known for its unconventional approach to advertising its brand.

In its latest campaign, it had ad agency Tombras interview a group of vegans on camera and then have them sample some vegan sandwiches.

After espousing their commitment to their vegan lifestyles they were then shown videos of them eating, enjoying, and advocating for eating animals.

One participant was shown saying “I’m not ashamed to say sometimes I even daydream about different kinds of beef and pork. I even have an M tattoo that stands for meat. I really mean that. Meat is like a religion for me.”

The videos were of course deepfakes which Tombras said took them all of 20 minutes to make using their AI tool. The agency said, “The hope was to get a rise out of them, and it worked — they were surprised, then angry.”

While the participants aren’t the demographic for Steak-umm beef sandwiches, it no doubt hopes the video will catch the attention of meat eaters so they can sell more sandwiches.

The company says that the real reason behind the stunt was to highlight the impact that deepfakes can have on everyday life. Once this was explained to the participants they calmed down and supported the idea.

One participant said, “So many people are quick to believe what they see and hear off the bat without doing any research to where this can literally start wars.” Another said, “I think in this next election cycle, it’s gonna be insane what we’re up against.”

Steak-umm set up the website to raise awareness for the proposed Deep Fakes Accountability Act.

The act aims to:

  • Provide prosecutors, regulators, and victims of deepfakes with resources such as detection technology
  • Establish criminal penalties for false digital impersonations
  • Require creators of deepfakes to disclose and watermark them as such
  • Ensure manufacturers of deepfake technology comply with proposed disclosure and watermark laws

With deepfake nudes continuing to cause real damage and upcoming elections it seems the act is certainly necessary.

A tagline on sums the situation up well when it says, “If a deepfake can make a vegan say they love meat, imagine what a deepfake could make you say.”

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