There is a dark side to many things, and so is valid for the fields such as marketing and technology. It has been reported that CGI influences earning in about six figures. However, there is a lot to think about rather than being optimistic about everything.
A popular digital media outlet called The Quint recently interviewed several industry experts. Their motive was to explore the latest trend and find out why marquee brands are opting for virtual influencers based on Artificial Intelligence.
You must already be familiar with the term Influencers. Names such as Mr. Beast, Amanda Cerny, PewDiePie, etc., have been given to some of the most famous influencers in modern-day social media pop culture. As the name suggests, influencers play the role of influencing the decision-making of the consumers. They convince consumers to buy a specific product, follow a brand, adopt an ideology, or even vote for a particular politician.
The social media marketplace has become an intrinsic part of the product advertisement, and influencers play a crucial role in shaping the narrative of the market. If the influencer hired by a company has ten million followers, then the initial lift of the product is guaranteed to have some kick.
Exponential growth has created a paradigm shift in which consumers think about products, brands, and even marketing in general. However, as the technology continues to evolve, a new player has arrived into the game. It is called virtual influence, wholly based on Artificial Intelligence technology.
However, consumers must remember that these CGI-enabled product influencers might seem attractive, glamorous, and can even go the mainstream. Still, they do transform the consumers away from something very integral, i.e., the reality.
You can take the example of Rozy here. As you may already be aware, Rozy is the world’s first-ever official virtual influencer. She has proven herself an exceptional profiteer by bringing home six crores (Indian currency) through advertisements and brand promotion. Currently, she is thriving with over one hundred sponsorships and at least eight exclusive contracts.
Rozy announced herself to the world during December last year. At first, nobody knew she was an influencer, and she was just an ordinary 22-year-old girl. However, soon the truth about her was revealed, and everyone was surprised.
In the same continent, India also saw its first of its kind virtual influencer called Nila. In August, she opened her to handle and has joined an exponential expanding list of virtual influencers based on Artificial Intelligence.
Definition of Virtual Influencers
Virtual Influencers are created depending upon what is in people’s minds on an everyday basis. For instance, it is based on topics they are talking about, their interests, events, and other issues continuously trending on Twitter and Instagram.
The exciting thing about Virtual Influencers is that they are not as hard to create and are comparatively cost-effective. Apart from that, virtual influencers are also technologically effective. They have persuasive skills and act according to real-time situations. Furthermore, advanced virtual influencers can also talk to more than one person at the same time.
The creators have used expert mathematical codes to design and develop these virtual influencers. They are found to be effective in knowing and then manipulating the shapes in the surroundings. The programmers input a vast amount of information based on consumer activity and what facets draw people in.
As mentioned earlier, The Quint interviewed several industry experts, and one of them was Nitin Sabharwal. He is a regional COO of the company Optimize India. Neha Puri, a woman entrepreneur and the founder of Vavo Digital, also joined in for the discussions. The Quint prodded the panel on the topic of virtual influencers and what is so interesting about them.
Sabharwal rightly pointed out that the whole game of advertisements relied solely on the brand ambassador in earlier times. However, the advent of social media has made it easier for companies to reach people and has shifted the power game. Now, the company can quickly sell their good products with the right strategy, and they have a ton of options in terms of influencers to bring in more audience.
Companies need to realize that most consumers are not interested in one celebrity or one product but the whole niche itself. So, if a company wants to sell the product, they should emphasize their niche and attract customers and their influencers of that particular niche.
Neha Puri chipped in with her argument in favor of virtual influencers. She said that the cost-effectiveness of virtual influencers could not be ignored.
Furthermore, virtual influencers have less chance to be involved in a controversy, so there is less risk and a lot of freedom in which a company wants to promote its product.
The Negative Aspect of Virtual Influencers
There is a positive and negative side to everything. If we are talking about the disadvantages of virtual influencers, we need to raise the issue of transparency. There is little accountability. Exactly who is responsible for the content shown by virtual influencers would be impossible to detect.
Furthermore, Sabharwal has cautioned that virtual influencers could also mislead the public using traction, fake followers, etc. And, since there is no accountability, there would be no one to blame for the plagiarism or inappropriate content.
Also, virtual influencers can be immorally used by politicians to shape the narrative of the elections. And, terrorists can also spread their agenda using virtual influencers since it is effortless to create and is cost-effective.
Conclusion CGI and AI-based influencers have only profited from the marketing industry and have made millions for the business owners. However, few things could be wrong for society if the industry does not check them.