Virtual models are the latest trend in the Instagram game and they’re attracting some attention from big brands.
Meet Shudu Gram, Lil Miquela and Blawko. All three of these models have something in common, none of them are real. Thats right, none of these models exist, yet together they have a combined total of over 1,674,000 followers on Instagram. They fall into a new category of celeb called the virtual influencer. Take Shudu Gram, she started of her life as an art project by British artist named Cameron-James Wilson. Yet, since hitting the platform just a year ago she has gathered over 140000 followers, modelled Fenty Beauty lipstick, and is currently penning an editorial for a major online publication. Incredibly the fact she doesn’t exist isn’t putting fashion and beauty brands off, in fact Wilson claims to have been contacted to promote a lot of products but is yet to take any money for a sponsorship deal.
Socialyte, are another agency who have recently gone on record to say they have also been approached by multiple fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel brands about creating a computer-generated influencer that they would then either own and operate or contract with an agency. Quoted prices range from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on the technology needed, the level of graphic detail and other specifics of the deal. Some contracts are actually more expensive than real-life influencers because of the technical costs involved.
A celebrity that doesn’t moan, want more money or roll up to a photoshoot half out of their minds after a drug fuelled weekend sounds like a dream come true for many a brand. Add into that mix you can have them look however you want, essentially amalgamating the most appealing features of real-life influencers—idealized attractiveness, a hip sense of fashion and you can really start to see the attraction of these virtual influencers.
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