The gradual rise of Virtual Influencers on Instagram

Technology is probing into everything; including influencer marketing. For brands to have complete control, there’s a new trend starting: “The computer-generated influencer”.

 

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She mad. New @openingceremony diary entry up. Link in my stories.

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It started with one, then came another; and now there are so many “robot-like” influencer figures. Existing in all categories, you can find a digital influencer for beauty, fashion, travel etc. These virtual figures are more or less icons– as they have hundreds of thousands of followers. But let’s talk about where it all began.

Meet Shudu Gram, the world’s first digital supermodel

Shudu Gram was created by British artist Cameron-James Wilson. Interesting thing is that she was just supposed to be an art project. However, in a matter of time, she became an internet sensation. Shudu has beautiful dark skin, exquisite features, and impeccable symmetry. She also has over 143,000 Instagram followers. One of her professional gigs as a model include modelling a lipstick by Fenty Beauty.

 

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🌸 . . #digitalart #3d #clo3D #daz3d #thediigitals

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Surprisingly, her creator, CJ Wilson, he is yet to take money for sponsorship involving Shudu. All the same, he is open to the idea.
“Gram’s artificiality has prevented ‘innumerable’ fashion and beauty brands from trying to contract her for product plugs…I consider them all, but I have to think about which direction I want to take, in which direction I want Shudu to go in. It has to fit – I just do not want to use it as a gimmick.”, he told Adweek.

 

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✊🏿 . . 📸@cjw.photo . . #3dart

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Meet another faster rising virtual influencer,  Lil Miquela.

Lil Maquela is a big one! In barely two years, this virtual social media sensation has garnered over 1.4M followers! “Miquela has even graced the cover of notable publications including Highsnobiety and 032c,” Fashion United reports.

Maquela also makes real money from her craft. The Brazilian-American model and “occasional singer”, gets paid gigs from all sorts of brands. Recently, Brud— the company behind Instagram’s most popular virtual influencers, raised millions of dollars from Silicon Valley firms, as cash injection. That notwithstanding, Maquela has been featured on a song, ‘Hate Me’, with Baauer. And the song is actually doing good!

Then there is the fashion collaboration she did with Japanese Streetwear brand, Ambush.

 

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🥀

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Looks like these virtual influencers are in high demand

Co-founder and president of influencer agency Socialite, Beca Alexander, told AdWeek she has been approached by several fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel brands about creating a computer-generated influencer that they would then own and exploit or contract with a desk.
“In some ways it is an ideal scenario for brands: they get the value of an influencer with none of the headaches that often occur when working with maintenance-free celebrities and inexperienced teenagers.”

“The artificial personalities are able to attract eyeballs by unifying in essence the most attractive characteristics of the real influencers: idealized attractiveness, a hip sense of fashion and perhaps a tendency to drama,” she added.

 

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the money callin

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The future of influencer marketing is at stake now that we have virtual influencers, but who knows? Maybe we can all co-exist!

 

Amanda Lucy

AMANDA IS A 25 YEAR OLD COLLEGE GRADUATE. LOVES MUSIC,DANCE AND IS AN ARDENT USER OF THE INTERNET. YOU CAN FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM @nana_yaba. SHE STARTED WRITING FOR INFLEUR IN NOVEMBER 2017

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