CGI Influencers TAKE OVER The Internet

CGI Influencers TAKE OVER The Internet

CGI influencers are taking over the Internet. John Iadarola, Jayar Jackson, and Jesselyn Cook break it down on The Damage Report. Follow The Damage Report on Facebook:

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"In a weeklong #SponCon blitz, an Instagram influencer raved to his followers about the “ice-cold, refreshing” taste of Dr Pepper, how “there’s no better way to sleep” than on a Casper mattress, the way Old Spice makes him “look good and feel good,” and how TurboTax helped him secure a $3,194 federal tax refund last spring.

In each post he dons a signature cream suit and coiffed silver hair, and dutifully discloses that a brand sponsored his endorsement. But he has never tasted soda, or taken a nap, or filed taxes. He’s not a real person — and his posts appear to break the law.

“Sexy Colonel Sanders,” as he has come to be known, is a computer-generated marketing gimmick operated by KFC to promote its fried chicken (though he has scored outside brand deals, too). Lifelike in appearance, he’s among a growing number of so-called “CGI influencers” who shill everything from apparel to cupcakes to exotic birds. Some are run by ad agencies and are not tied to any one brand, while others are run by brands themselves. Balmain even created its own “virtual army” to model its clothing.

Like their real-world counterparts, CGI influencers post selfies and memes, use slang and divulge “personal” information to connect with their audiences. Their humanlike behavior is part of an effort to make their sponsored endorsements seem more genuine, and they appeal to brands in part because they’re less prone to scandal than actual people.

As these automated figures gain hordes of followers and claim their turf in the world of influencer marketing — which is projected to hit $15 billion in two years — advertising watchdogs worry this kind of marketing misleads consumers and is against the law.”

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