In July the official trailer for Top Gun: Maverick - a sequel 23 years in the making - brought nostalgic memories of the 1986 original flooding back for Gen Y and older Millenials. 24 million people have watched it since.
Then last week Youtube channel Ctrl Shift Face blew up with 3.75 million views of a “DeepFake” video, showing Tropic Thunder actor Bill Hader telling a story about Tom Cruise to David Letterman using voice impressions to set the scene. As the story continues, Hader’s face eerily morphs into Tom Cruise every time he speaks with Cruise’s voice mannerisms, then quickly back again.
This week we see RunTomRun.com embedding the viral #RunTomRun hashtagged video, which showed 100k views in 24 hours and has since averaged approximately 2,500 more views every hour since.
Backed by a campaign website with the catchy slogan: “America, you complete me!”, #RunTomRun newsjacked the 2020 election hype cycle to great effect for actor Miles Fisher & director Stephen Vitale.
Edge of Tomorrow
President of international internet marketing company SEO National and noted digital marketing authority Damon Burton had this to say:
“Video is exploding across all the major social platforms, and creating new breakout styles on up-and-coming platforms like TikTok. We’ve seen huge growth in the short-form category of videos under 4 minutes running time which is perfect for bite-size media consumption.
Staying on top of trends in the video space is a big part of our knowledge portfolio that SEO National, because when people think of SEO their mind goes directly to search giant Google - but Youtube, owned by Google, is actually the world’s second-biggest search engine.”
The DeepFake trend has been on Burton's radar since 2016-2017 when the dangers of these digital illusions first hit the media through stories of global celebrities having their images stolen and used in unauthorized ways.
"It’s no longer possible to trust the authenticity of all digital still images or videos, and this has deep implications for public trust in the media and the political process.
The Bill Hader/Tom Cruise DeepFake got so much attention last week because of the way it showed this technology advancing, with the face morphing back and forth between the two actors seamlessly. It has an uncanny nightmarish quality that captures the imagination.
Considering the spike in Tom Cruise related views generated in the past few weeks by the DeepFake video and the Top Gun: Maverick trailer, it’s looking like #RunTomRun has a strong chance to hit a million views within the next 5-10 days.”
Burton went on to mention what part the high-quality production of the video embedded on RunTomRun.com plays into the equation.
“It works because it sucks you in with fast-paced action, getting you so hyped you forget to think for 10-20 seconds. Big congrats to Miles. He is a master impersonator, you almost have to remind yourself that it’s not actually Tom Cruise. And director Stephen Vitale may find himself approached for work by actual candidates before 2020...”
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