Jen.AI or Jennifer Lopez? It's hard to tell. (Photo: VIrgin Voyages)
If you've tried unsuccessfully to persuade family or friends to take a cruise with you, perhaps a personal invitation from Jennifer Lopez, Virgin Voyages' chief celebratory officer, will do the trick. A new campaign by the shipping company, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, launched a campaign on June 27 to attract groups to hold celebrations and special events on board.
Participation in the campaign, which went live on Tuesday, made Jennifer Lopez the first celebrity to consent to use her image and voice for AI purposes. Thus was born 'Jen AI', a virtual version of the singer-dancer-actress, powered by artificial intelligence whose job is to invite people to sail on the high seas.
The humorous campaign features different crew members trying, each in turn, to voice the artificial Lopez and adapt the message to their personal preferences. Accordingly, the company invites surfers to enter its website and create personalized invitations for their relatives, in Lopez's image and voice.
All of this comes against the backdrop of Lopez's famous partnership with Virgin Voyages, which in 2022 made her a full partner in the sailing venture, from developing wellness and fitness programs to entertainment collaborations. The agreement also elevated the singer's own products, which are sold on board under the JLo Beauty brand.
Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor parties, divorce parties and other milestones are often the focus of cruise holidaymakers' celebrations. Now, with JenAI, the new bot that looks and sounds just like Jennifer Lopez, vacationers and interested parties can visit the cruise line's website, answer a few questions like what they want to celebrate, where they want to sail and with whom, and a personalized invitation with Jennifer Lopez's character will be emailed to the intended guests.
Deepfake, but consensual
Meanwhile, the use of Deepfake and Voice Generator technologies continues to gain momentum. Various sites like FAKEYOU and Synthesia allow you to choose the celebrity you want to "emulate", type text, and produce audio and video clips in the voice and likeness of the person you chose. While the technology itself is exciting and intriguing, growing concerns about impersonation, fake news, deliberate deception and copyright infringement are becoming more tangible than ever, so it is not surprising that the first Slav to do so consensually is also a full partner in the project, since any other constellation could bind it to commitments that you never know where they will lead in the future.
Not coincidentally, the name Jen AI sounds like an abbreviation for generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence tool that generates content in response to user input. The evolving class of these tools means that the first to adopt it will be those who will be remembered for generations. In this move, the shrewd businesswoman was ahead of her time by far, catapulting Virgin overnight, proving once again that she is much more than a pretty face.
Who would say no to J-Lo?
While the pandemic continues to fade in the background, the world of leisure tourism has made significant strides in recent months, and people who have long avoided events and trips are looking to compensate themselves and their relatives with big, glamorous events. As the chief celebratory officer, Lopez takes this matter very seriously:
"It's so important to me that we stop and take time to celebrate special moments in our lives, and encourage others to do the same. If there's anything the past few years have taught us, it's how important it is to cherish the special moments of life with your inner circle," Lopez said.
The campaign, created in partnership with creative agency VMLY&R, is based on company surveys, which revealed that 77% of cruise travelers recommended their friends to take Virgin Voyages. "This idea brings together an innovative and playful use of AI technology, alongside a superstar who is a global icon," Rosenberg said. "JenAI gives everyone access to Jennifer to help gather their loved ones together, stop making excuses and sail on the vacation of a lifetime, because who can say no to J-Lo?"
- Marketing & Digital
- Content & Creative
- Jennifer Lopez
- Richard Branson
- artificial intelligence
- Fake News