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Itaú uses AI to visualize and honor Brazil's lost generations of female soccer players

For 40 years, Brazilian women were legally barred from playing football. Itaú Unibanco, a prominent sponsor of men's, women's and youth soccer, now seeks to honor those could-have-been national players. Working with Galeria.ag, the bank used generative AI to envision what female soccer teams might have looked like if the Brazilian government hadn't prohibited women from practicing sports "incompatible with the conditions of their nature."

To construct this alternate history, the campaign's creators consulted with former players, historians, sociologists and other experts. Based on their input and historical data, AI designers created images of imagined national teams that could've taken the field at the 1959, 1963 and 1971 Women's World Cups. Sharing those images, Itaú adds, "Our team got this far because many women thought it was possible and fought for it."

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Itaú's campaign doesn't just serve as a speculative visual exercise. It revives the oft-forgotten narrative of women's struggle for inclusion in Brazilian soccer. While the ban was lifted after four decades, full regulation came only in 1983. Bridging that historical gap, Itaú brings the legacy of women's soccer to life.

This year's FIFA Women's World Cup is wrapping up. Time to consider which major events your brand could use as hooks to imagine what could have been, connecting with your audience on alternate histories and what they signify for the present and future?

Innovation of the day

  Spotted by: Pablo Riquelme