With her flawlessly rendered appearance and dramatic digital narratives, virtual influencer Lil’ Miquela has been challenging ideas of authenticity on Instagram since 2016. Why are brands and social media users embracing these CGI celebrities and could they ever replace their human counterparts?
Gil Eyal is the CEO and co-founder of HYPR, which provides tools that help analyse the audience of every celebrity and influencer in the world, as well as automate the ability to run measurable, targeted campaigns at scale.
Andrea Graham Richeson is a New York-based writer, consultant and consumer anthropologist studying why people love what they love. She specialises in youth culture, gaming, fandoms, social media, and new media. She is the founder of the youth culture consultancy Youth Tribes.
Zach Soudan is an interaction designer, user researcher, and behavioral analyst who practices between London and New York. Previously a designer at IDEO, he has worked with start-ups, US governmental agencies, and leading Fortune 500 companies to assess, plan, design, and launch innovative products. His recent work looks to utilise non-linear processes within a 360-design approach to address the increasing complexity of social interactions within emerging technologies and the shifting political landscapes in which design operates.
As the dogs and cats of Instagram gain sizeable followings, brands are clamoring to tap these furry influencers’ audiences. Recognizing that most pet owners are unsure about contracts and legal requirements, The Dog Agency is helping to manage the fine print.
Special effects animators estimate that we’re less than ten years away from creating computer-generated characters that are almost indistinguishable from their human counterparts. As CGI and AI edge closer to replicating human likeness and behaviour, will being ‘real’ matter to future audiences?
CG influencer Lil Miquela – created by real-life start-up Brud – has been hacked by an alt-right troll and come out as a robot. Brud has received millions in investment off the back of this digital soap opera – a PR stunt that’s emblematic of a media landscape entwined with social platforms.
Online influencers have shaped the way people interact with brands since the advent of social media, adding context to products outside of typical advertising channels. But the idea that more followers equate to more consumer sway is not always true. How exactly is influencer marketing evolving?