Are CGI Influencers the Next Big Marketing Move?
Image Source: Independent via Balmain
As marketers, it’s crucial for us to stay on top of the changing landscape of influencer marketing, and one trend that we see getting more attention is computer-generated imagery (CGI) influencers. Yup, you heard that right — influencers designed by a computer that perceive the lifestyle of a human. CGI influencers have been around for at least a handful of years, and they seem to be successful in their job to influence, despite the cold hard fact that they are not… real.
So, what exactly do these CGI influencers do? Let’s take Lil Miquela, for instance. Miquela Sousa (@lilmiquela) is a singer, songwriter, and model, created by an AI company named Brud. While her identity was kept a secret for some time, she now openly discusses how she is a digital avatar created by computer software. She has appeared in interviews, on magazine covers, in music videos, and even has a human boyfriend. And she has no problem getting sponsorships, with big names like Calvin Klein, Prada, and Coachella signing partnerships with her.
Despite Miquela coming to Instagram in 2016, CGI influencers are predicted to blow up this upcoming year. A Fullscreen study proved that these robots actually do influence users to make purchases, attend events and follow a particular brand. Miquela has over one million followers, mostly consisting of Gen Zers and Millennials. Her unique look and intriguing Californian lifestyle are the reason 38% of these users are curious about her story.
The largest problem area I see with this type of influencer is authenticity, one of the most important aspects of social media. Yes, Miquela posts about her heartbreak and love for tacos, but knowing she will never actually experience these things makes some people skeptical. Nonetheless, virtual influencers still have the ability to pique users interests and provide a unique experience to your daily social media feed. I guess we will have to wait and see if this is the beginning of the robot takeover…
Posted by Abby K.