Marketing Professionals Say AI Influencers are Here to Stay


Let’s talk about AI influencers. You may have heard about Miquela Sousa, the 19-year-old Brazilian-American model and definitely not a real human getting ‘hacked’ in 2018 by a pro-Trump Influencer. No? What about Maybelline unveiling ‘May’, its own digital influencer created to sell mascara? Like it or not, AI influencers, or more concretely, animated and curated virtual avatars used to market products or build relationships with consumer communities have gone mainstream and signs point to them being here to stay. But where did they come from?

An interesting parallel that sheds light on why AI influencers seem to work with consumers is virtual bands. Long before we had influencers, there were “fake” bands that still really wanted to sell you things. Many cite Alvin and the Chipmunks as the first virtual band, but more recent and popular examples include the Gorillaz and Hatsune Miku. All of these examples, like AI influencers, were intentionally built to create a brand, sell a product, and build community with eager consumers and fans, and all of them have millions of adoring fans. There’s a certain allure that a digital-native age has with virtual curated personalities, even if it’s clear that they’re inauthentic avatars.

As to where AI influencers are headed, Anna Sullivan, Founder and CEO of creative digital marketing company The Creative Exchange, thinks that not only are AI influencers here to stay, but we “haven’t seen nothing” yet.

Anna’s Thoughts

“Over the past few years, you may have seen AI influencers as well as digital avatars on social media such as Miquela. Recently, Maybelline used a digital avatar to launch their latest product campaign. This is not something that is going to go away anytime soon. This is just scratching the surface. It’s gonna be the future, especially as every brand gets into the metaverse.

This type of technology won’t be replacing influencer marketing or UGC creators as people still look for real people to trust and connect with for their product reviews, but this is gonna be a new type of technology that all brands will be using at least in the next five years.”

Article written by Graham P. Johnson.

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