CGI influencers are bringing a new meaning to “fake” followers. As a social media public relations agency, we often partner with influencers who have similar goals and artistic visions as our brands to help products reach a larger audience. However, the recent popularity of CGI influencers has proved that the media industry continues to change beyond our wildest imaginations.
Who are they?
First off, CGI stands for computer-generated imagery. Like traditional influencers that a social media public relations agency would come into contact with, CGI influencers also promote brands and beauty products on their accounts. Additionally, CGI influencers even vouch for certain social causes and current events. These include Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement. The only difference of CGI influencers is that they are not human, but rather computer-generated images of a human-looking robot.
- Lil Miquela is one of the most prominent CGI influencers on the social media market today. She has 1.4m followers and has already partnered with brands such as Prada, Moncler and Highsnobiety. In addition to vouching for brands, she also supports the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBT life center, among other issues including homelessness and youth justice.
- Shudu advertises herself as the world’s first digital supermodel and has 145k followers on instagram. Her social media activity is not as extensive and frequent as Lil Miquela, but she has also partnered with brands such as Fenty Beauty.
Now comes the “so what?” part of the story.
- What does this mean for a social media public relations agency? We embrace change and are very excited about the future of technology and virtual reality. If brands are open to the possibility of CGI influencers and their products fit the personalities of those influencers, we don’t see a problem why this won’t be the future of influencer marketing.
- What does this mean for influencers who are human? Human influencers should embrace their uniqueness and specialties to leverage their advantage over computer-generated images. Whether that means using emotions, relationships or creativity in producing content.
- What does this mean for the general social media user population? Influencer marketing is about to get a lot more interesting as it reaches outside of our usual method of understanding and interest. There is no need to be doubtful or fearful of CGI influencers as they are simply another element of social media contributing to marketing efforts.
— Belle Zhang