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Virtual influencers: Will they replace the real thing?

Sat 26 Jun 2021    
| 2 min read

Leya loves nature. She adores animals, sunsets, and moonlit boat rides. Like your girl next door, she loves to post her stories and experiences on Instagram. With a following of 278K on Instagram, she ticks the box of an influencer. But Leya is not your usual influencer, and nor is she your ordinary next-door girl. Did we forget to mention that she is not human? She is a virtual influencer.

Future of influencer marketing

Virtual influencers are AI-generated characters who demonstrate features, personalities, thoughts, and feelings like real humans via their Instagram posts. Like Leya, each has its peculiar nature and predefined set of characteristics. 

All virtual influencers, AKA digital avatars, are designed and created as CG-models (Computer Generated-models) by a team of creative designers, writers and digital artists. This team of creators decides on each trait, habit, and appearance of the CG-models. They go over every minute detail during this creative session. The digital creation part comes next, where a digital form of the model is generated with a close eye to every detail and nuances of the character. 

Based on the theme of the post, the CG-models are placed over different backgrounds. Models could be posing on Eiffel Tower in Paris, riding a horse in the sunset, or lazing in a hammock in their make-belief home. The posts generate a massive number of engagement and increase in followers based on their real life human-like appearance.

The collaboration game

The increasing popularity of virtual influencers compels brands to collaborate with them. The virtual influencer will engage with the relevant product like Leya, who collaborated with Sandals Hotels & Resorts. The post managed to achieve a viewership reach of 11 million and 255K likes, along with almost 600 comments; incredible brand awareness for a character that does not exist in real life.

The question we leave you with is, would you prefer a virtual influencers over ‘human’ influencers?

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