Steak-umm Teaches Vegans the Dangers of Deepfakes and AI by Turning Them Into Meat-Lovers

Take a peek into a focus group of vegans, where a handful of participants talk about what it means to them to follow an animal-free diet. 

One man says it “shows I’m a moral person,” while another proudly points to his “V” for vegan tattoo and a woman adds: “I would never consider eating meat again—sometimes I get disgusted watching people eat a steak or a cheeseburger.”

Yet moments later, these same test subjects change their tune entirely, professing that “meat is like a religion for me,” “when I see someone eat a salad, I just feel sorry for them,” and “I truly believe that meat can heal the rift in this country.” 

They also, apparently, scarf down a massive “100% real beef” and cheese sandwich made with Steak-umm.

Except they didn’t.

There’s manipulation afoot here in the form of deep fake technology. Using readily available off-the-shelf tools, Steak-umm and agency of record Tombras twisted the participants’ responses and doctored the video, seemingly turning vegans into carnivores. 


The goal of the adulterated video is to make a point about the potential of AI to invade an average person’s life, given the tech’s recent history of “being used to gaslight, defraud and sow confusion” among the American populace, per the brand.

With the campaign—dubbed “DeepSteaks”—the second-generation family-owned frozen beef brand continues its unlikely yet now well-established battle against misinformation in the digital age.

And via a related site,, the company wants to help educate consumers about the hot button issue, asking them to sign a petition to support the Deep Fake Accountability Act and lobby their elected officials to take action.

“The deepfake discussions so far have mostly centered around celebrities and world leaders,” Dooley Tombras, agency president, told Adweek. “None of it has focused on how it can impact everyday people.”

The irony of a grocery store staple dropping truth bombs about topical matters—which shifted into high gear during 2020’s lockdown—has never been lost on the brand, according to Max Scannapieco, national vice president of sales and marketing at parent company Quaker Maid Meats. 

With a presidential election looming—and Joe Biden turning his attention to AI regulation—an education-first platform may be timelier than ever.

“Since we’re 100% real beef, we always want to be real with the consumer,” Scannapieco told Adweek. “We know it’s a risk to speak out, but it’s a risk we’re willing to take, with transparency being key.”

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