Influencer marketing is all about authenticity. And these days, brands are connecting with consumers thanks to unlikely influencer collaborations. Take CGI influencers, for example. These computer generated image (CGI) influencers are connecting authentically with audiences in ways that other influencers have to envy.
And in ways they should also potentially emulate, if they hope to compete with these powerful digital personas! The battle of human vs CGI just might be upon us . . .
More Human Than Humans Online
In the CGI realm, Lil Miquela rules.
Miquela Sousa (her full name), specifically, and CGI influencers, in general, are not afraid to ‘go there’ and share both good and bad with their followers. This draws a crowd and lends credibility to their made-up existences.
And the suspension of disbelief is astounding.
It’s masterful storytelling, with a twist:
[Miquela]’s got a signature aesthetic, space buns and all. She’s palled around with A-listers such as the Chainsmokers and Bo Burnham. Sometimes she takes a break from posting selfies to spotlight social causes, like family separation at the border or transgender rights. And, like almost every influencer, one could say Miquela lives online, broadcasting the ups and downs of her life to her 1.6 million followers on her Instagram account @lilmiquela.
“I ugly cried in front of about 50 strangers… and now he won’t respond to any of (my) texts or pick up his phone,” she wrote in one post about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, whom she calls “angel boi.” “Brb crying to Lana for the next 19 years”
She’s a “change-seeking robot” with a boyfriend – a human boyfriend. They go to events together somehow. This causes quite a stir:
And she’s not alone.
CGI Origin Story
There’s an air of mystery around these beings. The three main players in the CGI world have some shared, almost ominous-feeling backstory. One that’s only hinted at from time to time, and is revealed like one is following along in a page turning novel. Or watching Terminator, and seeing Skynet reveal itself:
So, where did this trio come from, and who are these other two referenced? We have Miquela, her rival/bestie depending on the week, Bermuda; and, Miquela’s ‘brother’ of some sort – Blawko.
Initially, commenters mocked them, but that sentiment has changed to one ranging from awe to outrage. To say they generate a passionate response would be an understatement.
Though they may have recently crossed a line having Miquela relate a sort of sexual assault in an uber. Can you guess when that was? When sentiment took a nosedive, as usually her audience loves her:
Hopefully her social media team is monitoring sentiment so they can attempt to walk this back a bit in later posts/videos.
You still have questions about her, of course – who wouldn’t? You can explore the rabbit hole around ‘what is Miquela?’ and see some of her very lucrative sponsorships here:
CGI Models Exist Too
None of the interconnected CGIs listed above seem to be a good fit for your brand? There’s also a digital agency, Diigitals, with some options, including an alien:
It’s most well-known model is Shudu – the world’s first digital model:
Its creator seeks to disrupt the fashion industry. As it’s ‘all fake anyway’ doing this responsibly and having it all be very obviously fake, seems the lesser of two evils to him.
Fashion does face that ‘fake’ hurdle after all, so maybe he has a point for brands to consider:
Or maybe these are all just a little too realistic for you regardless, including Galaxia, and you can’t get past the ‘creepy’ factor. At least, not yet.
There’s a CGI influencer that’s very obviously not real, and loved all the same – NooNoouri.
She’s a digital character, activist, vegan and fur free. And so is Miquela, by the way. They both obviously follow the sentiment of their target demographic very closely.
And Bermuda is Bae is the polar opposite, comfortably capturing/infuriating any stragglers, while Blawko is seemingly gender nonconforming to some extent, hitting the trifecta for relating to Millennials and Gen Z.
There’s something to be found for every brand amongst the CGI influencers, it seems. All super relatable. But that doesn’t mean you can force it. It’s important for brands to find the right influencer (human or otherwise) for them. They’re not one size fits all, obviously.
Finding the Right Fit
Online is its own reality for many, so these carefully crafted personas will continue to resonate, as they keep pace with the changing landscape. And regardless of whether or not your brand partners with a CGI being, it does need to become as adept at adapting too.
Maybe a CGI influencer will keep you nimble – who knows? Sentiment analysis captured via powerful next generation AI-powered social analytics will set you on the right path regardless. Reach out and we’ll show you how powerful influencer marketing, informed by social insight, can really be!