Unreal people with real influence

Who are CGI influencers and what is their role in influencers marketing

4 min to read
Written by: Hana Malobabić

Source: Grin/Insider

In today’s world, technology has an impact on all aspects of life. Marketing is an area that’s closely related to trends, so it always follows technological progress and innovation, especially due to the importance of social media for communication with consumers. We are already well acquainted with the emergence of influencers and influencers of marketing, but did we expect that in this area technology will become even more involved and make a step in a completely unexpected direction? With the rise of CGI technology on social media, came a whole new kind of influencers who are blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds. We bring more about them below.

Who are CGI influencers?

CGI (Computer-generated imagery) influencers are computer-programmed characters, active on social media in the role of content creators and creators of the online community; and they are created by the teams of developers and designers. While some experts are skeptical of CGI influencers, others see benefits and opportunities in them.

The biggest advantage of these influencers is that brands have complete control over them. This especially refers to the fact that the real influencers are more and more vocal about their political and social attitudes, which creates a fear of over-polarization among brands. Apart from not getting involved in political debates, CGI influencers will not appear as the main faces of the scandals and will behave exactly the way the brand wants.

Another advantage of CGI influencers is that they can control the environment in which they are located, therefore they can promote products around the world without really going anywhere. This is why experts see great potential for tourism-related brands. Also, given that the developers and designers are in charge of CGI influencers, the space for creativity is large and provides the ability to edit, add, modify and personalize products and the environment.

The main flaw of CGI influencers is that they are not real. This decreases their authenticity because they promote products they can’t actually try and places they can’t go. This is why experts are skeptical and question whether audiences will ever trust virtual influencers as they trust real influencers. An additional challenge when working with CGI technology is that it requires a whole team of people who have a difficult task – to make an unreal person as real and convincing as possible; especially when it comes to posts that promote real brands.

Leaders of the CGI online community

1. Lil Miquela: @lilmiquela

Lil Miquela is the most famous CGI influencer, and she also holds the title of one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet. She is 19 years old and mostly talks about youth romances, and advocates for the Black Lives Matter movement. She is followed by more than three million users on Instagram.

2. Blawko: @blawko22

Blawko is Lil Miquela’s brother, known for his street style and masks that always cover part of his face. He is most interested in the sneaker culture and often does product giveaways. He is followed by 145,000 users on Instagram.

3. Shudu: @shudu.gram

Shudu is the first digital supermodel, originally from Africa. Her character is elegant and emphasizes the uniqueness of her African-American roots, and the brands she collaborates with are highly positioned and luxurious (e.g. Salvatore Ferragamo, GQ, Christian Loboutin). Shudu is present on Instagram and is followed by almost 220,000 users.

4. Imma: @imma.gram

Imma is a model and world traveler from Japan. She is known for her love for her furry pet and her collaboration with Amazon’s “The Drop” in the role of brand ambassador and fashion designer. Her Instagram community contains 356,000 followers.

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