In these circumstances, how could we relate to some influencers that don’t even exist in real life? Could the products they promote really catch their followers’ attention? Can they be perceived as authentic just due to a talented CGI Artist and a well thought storytelling? A looot of questions, but, first things first, let’s see what’s the deal with these virtual influencers and how the most popular ones look like.
The first thing that can make you question everything is numbers. More precisely, the engagement that virtual influencers have is almost 3 times bigger than in the case of real influencers. 3 times. Bigger.
Their advantage resides in the fact that they can be rendered in the company of basically anyone, everywhere, wearing or using any brand. There aren’t days they can’t post something because they might feel ill and they don’t even need to take 1000 photos in order to choose a single one that looks good.
Ironically, everyone talks about brand humanity and how important interpersonal connections are. And then you see these numbers. Statistically speaking, women generate most of this engagement, especially in the USA, while they are also the ones who suffer the most because of unrealistic expectations of the “ideal” body. Even more so, when there are more and more influencers, there should be some regulations regarding the transparency they provide to their followers.
However, until we get to that point, we put together a list of the most influencial virtual influencers from all over the world:
1. Ana Tobor
We start locally, because the internet went crazy in February after Ana, the first Romanian computer generated influencer, had been launched on Instagram.
2. Lil Miquela
The one that started all this craze and that gathered the largest community on Instagram out of all virtual influencers. Not only does she have partnerships with brands such as Calvin Klein or Givenchy, but she also talks about the drama in her „life”, the conflicts or love stories with other virtual influencers.
While Miquela is presented as a regular person who became an influencer, Shudu calls herself a virtual supermodel. Her photos live up to that title, because they seem to be taken right out of a Cosmo cover.
Shudu’s male counterpart and her modelling buddy. He looks just like those GQ models, but he doesn’t have a close relationship with his followers as other virtual influencers do. Therefore, his community doesn’t perceive him as close to them as others.
5. Aliza Rex
She has some photos where, at a first glance, she looks like a real person. That’s why, in the comment section of her posts, people usually talk about the impact that they have on the female followers’ body image.
If there’s any virtual influencer that could easily pass as a real one, that would be Imma. She has a lot of posts where she is shown in the company of real people or animals, which gives her character more credibility. Based on the same kpop star aesthetic, there’s Imma’s boyfriend, Plustic boy. He’s got a smaller follower base, but the images he posts are incredibly realistic.
Not all virtual influencers try to closely mimic reality. Thus, Noonoouri was created in such a way that she resembles a cartoon character more than a person.
To sum everything up, using a virtual celebrity to promote something online is a slippery slope. On one hand, the content can be delivered really fast and easy. On the other hand, you may not necessarily reach the target audience, or at least not in a way that would make them truly interested in the brand’s products or services. People can gather around such an influencer out of pure curiosity. Therefore, a nice story, carefully modeled by a CGI Artist, can arouse people’s interest, but it’s still debatable in terms of “for how long” and ”with what impact”.
Photo source: pixabay.com