Media mistakes CGI video advertisement for real statue of Virat Kohli at Times Square

By: Ankita Kulkarni
June 27 2024

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Media mistakes CGI video advertisement for real statue of Virat Kohli at Times Square

A screenshot from a viral video and of headlines in media reports that claim that a statue of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has been unveiled at New York’s Times Square. (Source: X/News 18/Hindustan Times/India TV/The Economic Times)


The Verdict Fake

A Duroflex representative confirmed to Logically Facts that the video was created using CGI to advertise their mattresses.

Claim ID f79d452c

What is the claim?

An image circulating on social media purportedly depicts a golden statue of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli in New York's Times Square, claiming a significant moment for Indian cricket. One such post (archived here) on X (formerly Twitter) shared a screenshot from the video stating, "Statue of Virat Kohli at Times Square should be declared as the 8th wonder of the world."

At the time of writing, the post has garnered 190,200 views on the platform. Archived versions of similar posts can be viewed here and here

Multiple mainstream media outlets, including News 18, Hindustan Times, India TV, and Economic Times, have also reported on the alleged statue, claiming it was "recently unveiled."

Screenshot of viral posts circulating on social media. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Loically Facts) 

However, our investigation reveals that the video is actually an advertisement created by Duroflex, a mattress company, using CGI (computer-generated imagery).

What did we find? 

A reverse image search of the viral picture led us to a video uploaded by Duroflex on its official X account (archived here) on June 23, 2024. The caption reads, “Just Unveiled: A larger-than-life statue of Virat Kohli at the iconic Times Square. This King's Duty, we are going global and making history! We’re delivering great sleep and great health to Virat Kohli.#GreatSleepGreatHealth #ViratKohli #worldcup #cricket #CGI (sic).” 

The hashtag ‘CGI’ indicates it was computer-generated. CGI is a technology that uses graphics to enhance images and videos for visual representation.

The video was also shared on their Instagram account (archived here) and YouTube channel (archived here), clearly stating that it is CGI.

Screenshot of an Instagram post by Duroflex stating that the viral clip is CGI.
(Source: Instagram/Duroflex/Screenshot)

Logically Facts contacted a Duroflex representative (who wished to be identified as such), who confirmed that the video posted on their social media was created using CGI and is an advertisement featuring their national brand ambassador, Virat Kohli. Duroflex signed Kohli as their brand ambassador on May 15, 2023.

We also reviewed live footage of New York's Times Square on YouTube, streamed by Earthcam, but found no evidence of Kohli’s statue, further confirming that the video is digitally created and not real.

Additionally, we discovered that Duroflex has previously posted similar CGI videos as advertisements, which can be viewed here, here, here, and here

The verdict

A CGI video depicting Virat Kohli’s statue at Times Square in New York, created by Duroflex as an advertisement, is being circulated with the false claim that it represents an actual statue dedicated to the Indian cricketer.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before