In the new Mastercard commercial Lionel Messi meets himself as a young man

The new Mastercard commercial celebrates the Champions League and stars Lionel Messi. The digital campaign will also be planned in Italy

To celebrate the historic sponsorship with the Uefa Champions League, Mastercard is launching a new advertising spot featuring its global ambassador Lionel Messi.

The film, unveiled today by the Argentine footballer himself through his Instagram account, will be launched in various international markets, including Italy.

It will also be available to fans on the platform.

The film focuses on the career of the player who, looking back on his past, traces the role that football has had and continues to have in his life, recalling the popularity of a real collective passion for such a powerful and inspiring sport.

Giving a voice to Lionel Messi’s younger self was one of the biggest challenges in creating this film.

To make this possible, the production team used a new VFX (visual effects) method, the so-called ‘neural rendering’.

Instead of the traditional approach that sees the use of computer graphics, a ‘synthetic render’ has also been developed exploiting the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI).

This process involves feeding and entering data on an artificial intelligence platform with thousands of references to a very young Lionel Messi.

Photos, videos and sound data of his appearance and movements were supplied to the artificial intelligence, as well as videos recorded by actors who looked like him. The AI ​​was then able to use this data to generate a digital image and subsequently integrate it into the live action footage we see in the commercial.

This is the first time ever that the VFX process has been used with such a high level of fidelity within a commercial: a milestone made possible thanks to Thiago Porto, pioneer of The Mill’s VFX, one of the major specialists in this scope.

The creative agency is McCann.

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