2018-0426-AI-influencers

The realm of content and social media marketing has evolved over the past decade, opening what was a fresh new crevice in the world of testimonial advertising, now known to us as influencer marketing.

 

Influencer marketing uses influential people to guide the masses on social media. As consumers in this day and age are becoming more sophisticated and skeptical, influencer marketing checks all the right boxes, fusing digital marketing, PR, product, sales and social media through a lifestyle that reflects a usage of the promoted products and services.

 

With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this vastly unexplored digital landscape is changing the way businesses are conducted and how customers make their decisions. Real influencers have the possibility of becoming erratic, which could possibly create bad PR or damage the image of brands associated with them. Influencers are also at risk with the possibility of being no longer relevant to the masses in time. To address the problems your real influencers cannot do for this current generation, the clear, next step to this ever-growing scaffold would be virtual influencers.

 

So what are virtual influencers? A notable example of this is the influencer that took the internet by storm: Lil Miquela. Lil Miquela is a 19-year-old Brazilian-American girl residing in LA that fights for several causes such as juvenile incarceration, Black Lives Matter and LGBT rights. With over a million followers on Instagram, she has posted photos of herself wearing high-end brands like Chanel, Supreme and Vetements, even partnering with Prada to take over their social media accounts for the Fall 2018 show in Milan. She also has two hit singles on Spotify surpassing a million plays each. However, there is a catch: She isn’t human. Lil Miquela is a digitally rendered, CGI influencer.

 

If you’re wondering about her age or where she lives, it is all part of a narrative conjured up by a transmedia studio called Brud, a studio that creates digital character driven story worlds. These narratives are not created at a whim though, as these story worlds are a product of a collection of individual experiences that is transpired into an entertaining tale that has the power to introduce marginalized ideas, thus Lil Miquela’s support for said causes.

 

How does this play out in today’s world? From a marketing perspective, Lil Miquela is an incredibly safe bet because she wouldn’t impulsively tweet a controversial opinion or go on an uncontrollable social media rampage. She has the qualities of a beautiful girl, but she has a gap tooth and freckles, so she isn’t perfect. This allows her to further relate and create a connection with her followers. Being a virtual entity, she’s pretty much ageless, so long as the team behind her creation continues to keep her relevant. The perfect blend of the unattainable lifestyle and the human-like flaws are what captures her followers’ attention.

 

This opens up avenues to a whole range of possibilities for the future of virtual reality. It’s easy to roll your eyes at the thought of it, but can you imagine a world where virtual influencers ultimately replace real influencers? Only time will tell.

 

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.