CGI Influencers: The Future of Influencer Marketing?

Published on

May 24, 2022


Brands & Agencies


Julian Slosse

What are CGI Influencers and how do they work?

CGI influencers are a relatively new phenomenon in the world of social media and online marketing. Unlike traditional influencers, whose presence is primarily digital or through one-on-one interactions, CGI influencers involve computer-generated models that are designed to look and act just like real people.

These CGI influencers can be used to advertise products and brands across different social platforms, reaching a wider audience with more authenticity than traditional ads. While there are some concerns about the ethics of using CGI models for advertising, most experts agree that these digital entities have become an important part of the modern marketing landscape. Whether you're on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter, it's likely that you'll encounter at least one CGI influencer, so you may as well learn how they work!

The benefits of using CGI Influencers in marketing campaigns

Don't get me wrong, traditional influencer marketing can be highly effective. But as social media platforms become more saturated, businesses are looking for new ways to reach their target audience

You can create your perfect spokesperson

Unlike regular influencers, who may not always align with your brand values or target audience, you can create a CGI influencer that perfectly represents your company. This allows you to have full control over the message that you're trying to communicate.

You can avoid potential pitfalls

There are many potential pitfalls when working with traditional influencers. For example, they may not show up to an event or they may say something that doesn't align with your brand message. With CGI influencers, you can avoid these potential pitfalls as you have complete control over their actions and words.

They're more affordable

CGI influencers are often more affordable than traditional influencers, yes there is a lot of upfront costs to create them but once they're made you can use them over and over again. You can also use them in multiple marketing campaigns and across different social media platforms.

They're more authentic

As social media platforms become more saturated with content, users are becoming more discerning about the content that they consume. They're looking for content that is more authentic and relatable. CGI influencers can help you to create content that is more authentic and relatable to your target audience. Again this is because you have complete control over their actions and words.

Examples of successful campaigns using CGI Influencers

Now don't get me wrong CGI influencers are still in the early stage, and they are a lot of kinks that still need to be worked out. But I think with the right approach, they could be a powerful tool. Below are just some examples that have got viral attention.

Ling - the Chinese superstar

Ling is an example of what the Chinese refer to as "virtual idols," who have become favourites of China's major businesses. This is mostly due to scandals involving major celebrities, which have rocked the nation to its core.

Porsche and Bulgari have just dumped Chinese megastar Kris Wu after Beijing police detained him on rape accusations. Wu was in high demand for commercial campaigns, which each paid him more than $ 2.5 million. But he has now fallen out of favour.

With a virtual influencer, you don't get these types of shocks as a business. It's easy to understand where the attractiveness of an AI influencer like Ling comes from.

Ether - the first virtual influencer in the Netherlands

Anyone who hastily scrolls through a snapshot of Esther Olofsson on Instagram could mistake her for a regular influencer. The 29-year-old Swedish lady went to Rotterdam a few years ago in search of love, and she now routinely uploads images of architecture and fine cuisine on social media.

In reality, the virtual influencer is the work of a group of individuals. Maarten Reijgersberg, a Rotterdam entrepreneur who helps other firms and government entities get their message out via his communication agency RauwCC, is the creator. He and his colleagues have already spent roughly 50,000 euros on Olofsson in terms of hours.

Furthermore, they have purposefully given her a few flaws. "According to research, virtual characters, like actual people, must have flaws in order to be liked. Esther has two different colour eyes, a few different moles, and a rather huge nose as a result of this."

Reijgersberg has had a lot of various versions a/b tested in order to make Olofsson's visage as sympathetic as feasible. "In the test, this one came out on top."

The future of CGI Influencers and where they're headed

As anyone who's scrolled through Instagram knows, influencers are everywhere. And while some of them are real people with large followings, an increasing number of them are actually CGI creations. That's right, these social media stars are not real people at all, but computer-generated images.

So what does the future hold for these CGI influencers? For one thing, they're only going to become more realistic and lifelike as technology improves. Additionally, they're likely to become more common as brands look for ways to stand out in a crowded online landscape. And as they become more commonplace, we can expect them to start influencing our offline behaviour as well, serving as digital avatars for products and services that we interact within the real world.

What does that mean for us? Well, it's hard to say for sure. But one thing is certain: the world of social media is about to get even more fascinating - and maybe a little bit weird.


CGI influencers are the future of influencer marketing. They are more realistic, trustworthy and engaging to consumers. As a marketer, you need to be ahead of the curve and start working with these new types of influencers. At Influencer DNA we make sure you avoid the pitfalls and get the most out of your CGI influencer campaigns. As the world of influencer marketing evolves so does our list of handpicked influencers. Contact us today to learn more!


Julian Slosse