The Rise Of Virtual Influencers Transcript

David Erickson: We talked about this a couple of years ago: Virtual influencers.

Brands Creating Fictional Influencers

David Erickson: Brands are creating their own #influencers so that they don’t have to deal with real-life influencers and can control their message. This is from Entrepreneur‘s Torrey Tayenaka. This is written like the trend has just started but it hasn’t. It’s been–as we said, we talked about it in 2018.

The CGI & Photoshopping Of Influencers

David Erickson: Computer generated fictional characters that brands are using as influencers. They’re often paired with animated images. They are photo realistic personas that are created. Some companies are building them from the ground up so they can control every aspect of them.

Lil Miquela

David Erickson: But one of the ones that we talked about two years ago was Lil Miquela in Episode 229. Back then she–quote, unquote–was just a fashion & beauty influencer. Now let’s get an update from Lil Miquela. It was created by an LA-based firm called Brud. Here’s the quote from the article:

“Now she’s a regular face in fashion magazines, fronts a wide range of luxury brands. More than 80,000 people stream Lil Miquela songs on Spotify every month. She has given interviews from Coachella and shown off a tattoo designed by an artist who inked Miley Cyrus. Until her creators revealed her true provenance, many of her fans were convinced she was a flesh and blood teenager. “

Blawko, Shudu Gram & Virtual KFC Colonel

David Erickson: There’s others. There’s a Blawko, who is another Brud creation who is sporting a streetwear style and tattoos, he describes himself as a young robot sex symbol. There’s KFC’s virtual Colonel. There’s Shudu Gram, which is another one we talked about two years ago.

But we also wondered in Episode 306 if The Plague would would pop the influencer bubble and I’m starting to think that maybe this is the answer. Virtual influencers rather than real life ones.

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BL Ochman: Wait, what they have followings?

David Erickson: Yeah, they have tons of followings.

BL Ochman: That’s hilarious.

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