Virgin Voyages has turned its brand ambassador Jennifer Lopez into an AI deepfake that can be programmed to send bespoke video invitations to friends and family. Jenny Southan reports

Always ahead of the curve, Virgin Voyages has come up with a clever new marketing gimmick to motivate fun-loving travellers to book its cruises.

Jen AI, as it’s called, has harnessed the likeness of the singer-dancer-actress to create a highly realistic version (aka a “deepfake) of J-Lo, who will personally read out customised invitations to set sail via a “highly-personalised video”. Because who can say no to J-Lo?

The Drum writes: “The spot opens with a reclining J-Lo, who in a seductive voice introduces herself as Virgin Voyages’ chief celebration officer and invites people to board the ship. Suddenly, due to a glitch, her true identity is revealed: she‘s actually a man named Kyle.

“The viewer then learns that the real J-Lo is nowhere to be found and the woman in frame is indeed Jen AI, a play on words for ’generative AI’ – the burgeoning class of tools that produce content in response to user inputs. Another woman from the backend takes on Kyle’s duties, suggesting that Jen AI needs an upgrade or two before the technology is perfected.”

Devised in partnership with creative agency VMLY&R, the campaign builds on an existing partnership between Virgin Voyages and Jennifer Lopez (the company’s “chief entertainment and lifestyle officer”) that started in 2022. Lopez’s line of JLo Beauty products are also stocked onboard.

“Creatively, we love that this makes you laugh and will keep you engaged from the beginning to the end of the film when you send the invites featuring Jen AI to all your friends,” says Nathan Rosenberg, Virgin Voyages’ chief brand officer, in The Drum.

He adds: “Through this wildly creative idea from VMLY&R, we are both using and poking fun at the world of AI. This idea brings together an innovative and playful use of AI tech, alongside a global icon and superstar. Jen AI gives everybody access to Jennifer to help gather their loved ones together, stop making excuses and set sail on the vacation of a lifetime.”