Influencers who don’t really ‘exist’

“There’s no way that hot cartoons are the future of fashion advertising.”

What is a virtual influencer?

Simply, it’s a digital character. Virtual influencers don’t exist in reality, traditional way. Instead, they are created using computer graphics software. Created character is then given a personality and will always act on social media platforms as if they are the influencer. 

How do they work?

Behind each of them are clever creators who remain faceless. They are responsible for growing their Instagram platforms and moulding these virtual figures into the internationally recognised influencers they are quickly becoming. The creators choose the way they look, dress and act. They also decide who they hang out with, date, fall out with and collaborate with on Instagram.

Taking over the fashion industry

Back in 2016, when the first virtual influencer Lil Miquela was up, people were unsure whether virtual influencers would take over the fashion industry. But, according to Christopher Travers, the founder of VirtualHumans.org, virtual influencers can do anything that human influencers can do, but with more control and engagement.

Virtual influencers give brands more control over collaborations and content form, making them perfect for the creators.

Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela Calvin Klein ad. Picture
Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela Calvin Klein ad. Picture
Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela Calvin Klein ad. Picture: Instagram:@lilmiquela/YouTube: CALVIN KLEIN

“It’s not just about the kiss itself, but also about the fact that a computer-created girl was chosen to star in the campaign alongside one of the best-paid models in the world.”

The idea of this collaboration in 2019 with Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela was to create something extraordinary and outstanding. But unfortunately, after this campaign, CALVIN KLEIN was accused of queerbaiting. People were also angry because they didn’t use a real person for this campaign. So, it caught people’s attention, but it wasn’t a great success.

Balmain, a fashion label, commissioned photographer Cameron-James Wilson to create a diverse "virtual army" of models for Olivier Rousteing's 2018 collection.
Balmain, a fashion label, commissioned photographer Cameron-James Wilson to create a diverse “virtual army” of models for Olivier Rousteing’s 2018 collection.
Candy, Prada's computer-generated muse. Introduced in their ReThink Reality campaign 2021.
Candy, Prada’s computer-generated muse. Introduced in their ReThink Reality campaign 2021.

“If you’re trying to work around-the-clock publishing and promoting content to raise brand awareness, then it makes sense you’d consider using a virtual influencer, who can post and promote content without sacrificing human needs like…well, sleep.”

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/virtual-influencers

In the last few years, virtual influencers have tripled in size. It’s a metaverse effect because these digital humans are inherently suited to be the first inhabitants of it. As investment and interest in the metaverse intensify, virtual influencers will go from being a trend to becoming a staple. 

Post Author: Milica Velimirovic

Lover of traveling, a seeker for memories who always have a good book with her. I was born and raised in Serbia. In a place that will always have a special spot, both in my passport and in my life.

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