Do you know that not all influencers are actually human? Not even alive, in the real sense of the word? That’s right, some of the biggest names among influencers these days are digital characters created using computer graphics software. They are given names and personas and will behave on social media as if they were real life influencers.
Why do people like virtual influencers?
Although players clearly understand that their Sims are nothing more than algorithms, the games they play captivate them and generate emotional responses to the scenarios on the screen. Why? Because humans are strong. We interpret what we see from our experience.
The scene (whether it is real life, virtual, or created in our imagination while reading a fictional novel) makes us re-experience the same emotions we would have felt in a similar situation. The “flexible” empathy that humans inherited from their distant ancestors is what makes computer simulators such as The Sims or FIFA so successful, and also makes virtual influencers possible.
Yes, influencer marketing is becoming more interesting by the day! So, without further ado, let’s meet these digital characters who have been ruling the social media for quite some time now and will continue to do so in the near future.
Miquela Sousa, commonly known as Little Miquela, is a nineteen year old robot living in LA. Since setting up a startup business called Brood in 2016, Lil Miquela has worked with high-street fashion brands such as Prada, Dior, Diesel and Calvin Klein. Of course, this is just to mention a few. In addition to brand collaborations, Lil Miquela has also released a single and a music video at the virtual Lollapalooza festival.
Shudu is a virtual fashion model and brand ambassador created by photographer Cameron James-Wilson. It’s hard to tell the real person apart – the virtual creature looks photorealistic and poses as a typical fashion model.
For example, 4 years ago, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty reposted her on their media platforms (with over 8.1 million followers of the coverage) without knowing if Shudu was real or not. Shudu considers herself the world’s first digital supermodel and – partly because of her massive success – fashion experts call virtual models the future of fashion and commerce.
Model and virtual fashion influencer, Imma was created by Tokyo-based CG company Modeling Cafe. She is a favorite of her 79.7k Instagram followers for unique style inspiration due to her statement haircuts and attention-grabbing fashion.
Despite being computer generated, she appeared on the cover of computer graphics magazine CG World in July 2019. Since then, he has continued to take the online world by storm and has featured in several articles about the rise of virtual influencers.
Bermuda is an LA-based virtual “It Girl” and an aspiring musician. Since first appearing on Instagram in 2018, her CGI realism has come a long way some of her most recent photos make her almost indistinguishable from a real fashion model.
Bermuda is a side project of Brud, just like Lil Mikaela, and has over 270,000 followers at the time of writing. The interesting thing about Bermuda is that she was initially created as a virtual political figure to promote alt-right propaganda. He supported Trump, denied climate change and mocked liberal movements.
She is represented by PR firm Huxley and invested by Spark Capital, M Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Chris Williams, Boxgroup, Founders Fund and WME.
NooNoouri, a nineteen-year-old digital character, was created by Georg Zuber, founder of Opium Effect, a creative agency in Munich, Germany. As soon as she appeared, Noonoouri took the fashion world by storm by collaborating with household names like Versace, Lacoste and Bulgari.
Although the main purpose of NooNoonuri’s existence is to entertain, the digital character leaves no chance to educate his followers on various social causes. Her main topic is sustainable fashion, although she talks about a lot more than that.
Lu do Magalu
In 2022, Lu Do Magalu was the most followed Virtual Influencer. Currently, she is also the virtual human with the highest visibility in the world, which makes it easy to understand why she would top this list. She has more than 14.6 million followers on Facebook, more than 6.4 million followers on Instagram, more than 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube, and more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter and TikTok respectively. However, her fame and reach is mostly limited to Brazil, where she originated.
She made her first appearance on YouTube Marketing iBlogTV on behalf of Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s largest retail companies, more than a decade ago. Since then, he has been featured in product reviews, unboxing videos and has also shared software tips on behalf of the retail giant.
The first Indonesian computer character, Thalasya, has arrived at a recording studio in Florida, US. He likes to travel, yes. His Instagram is full of his exploration of the world. To fund her expensive hobby, Thalasya has also advertised hotels, restaurants and even health pills. Thalasya, along with her friend Zelin, also opened a clothing store named Yippee.
She is developed by Magnavem Studios and first appeared on Instagram in October 2018. To reach a massive Indonesian audience, try working with Thalasya, one of the most sought-after influencers in Indonesia.
Like Lil Mikaela, Blawco is created by LA-based Brud and describes herself as a “youth robot sex symbol” due to her streetwear style and tattoos. He is probably the most mysterious of all the virtual influencer stars because his mask covers half of his face. Furthermore, he has become popular among users due to his calm demeanor and association with Bermuda.
Recently, Blawako’s fame has been taken to another level as she has participated in several online interviews, has her own YouTube channel and earlier this year she did a DJ set on NTS Radio.
Rosie Oh is one of the most famous Asian Metaverse influencers on social media. She was created by Korean media company Sidus Studio X and debuted in 2020. Her full name means ‘the one and only’ in Korean and she is South Korea’s first virtual influencer. Rosie is said to be 22 years old, who never ages like other famous digital faces. Recently she celebrated her 22nd birthday with her fans on Instagram.
She has photographed Korean celebrities and sportspeople and has also modeled for international labels such as Calvin Klein. She also encourages her followers to participate in democratic processes such as voting in general elections.
Casas Bahia (CB) (@casasbahia)
This teenage boy represents one of the biggest retail brands in Brazil. Although the boy is named after the retailer, he is a self-proclaimed media personality more than 5 million users follow him for his views on recent video games, youth culture and even ecological issues. He also shares memes and according to his fans it is really funny and welcome.
The modern teenage character appeared in 2017 following a redesign of Bahianinho’s character. Bahianinho was a 2D child and more of a mascot than an influencer sharing details and opinions of his fictional life. Teen Casas also promotes Bahia Brazilian culture and goes way beyond brand endorsement it’s almost part of a national heritage!