5 Virtual Influencers Giving Tough Fight to Real Ones

5 Virtual Influencers Giving Tough Fight to Real Ones

Move over Kardashians, these virtual influencers are here to steal the show!

The rise of virtual influencers has disrupted the influencer marketing industry, offering brands a novel approach to promoting their products while avoiding potential controversies. These computer-generated personalities are gaining a significant following, thanks to their flawless appearance, relatable personalities and ability to connect with audiences just like their human counterparts. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five of the top virtual influencers who are making waves in the industry and challenging the dominance of real-life influencers.

Lu do Magalu: The virtual influencer changing the face of Brazilian’s e-commerce industry

The virtual influencer changing the face

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Lu do Magalu is a virtual influencer who has captured the attention of the Brazilian e-commerce industry with her unique charm and connection to her 6.3 million Instagram followers. Created by one of Brazil’s largest retailers in 2003, Magazine Luiza (Magalu), Lu do Magalu has successfully promoted a variety of products, from electronics to fashion. In 2022, she was featured on the front cover of Vogue Brazil Magazine. 

On social media, she connects with her followers through quirky and relatable posts, including engaging with her audience through polls, unboxing videos and questions and answers (Q&As). Moreover, Lu do Magalu advocates for important societal issues, such as the spread of fake news during the COVID-19 pandemic, racial equity, climate change and LGBTQ+ rights. 

Magazine Luiza’s innovative and humanized approach to influencer marketing has played a significant role in Lu do Magalu’s success, as the virtual influencer fills a unique niche in the Brazilian market. As per estimates, Lu do Magalu made more than US$17 million in 2022, proving her worth in the competitive world of influencer marketing. 

Barbie: Beloved toy icon transitioning into the virtual influencer space

Beloved toy icon transitioning into the virtual

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With a whopping 2.4 million followers on Instagram, the timeless icon of toys and pop culture Barbie is now one of the most well-known virtual influencers in the influencer industry. As a result of Barbie’s resurging demand, Mattel, the American toy company that owns Barbie, experienced a boost in sales that contributed to an 87% increase in sales, surpassing US$276 million in the first quarter of 2021. 

Barbie’s posts on fashion and beauty featuring her latest outfits and makeup looks are particularly popular among her followers. Her long-standing reputation as a role model for young girls has only strengthened as she transitions into the virtual influencer space, connecting with a new audience in a way that resonates with them. As a beloved icon, Barbie’s impact as a virtual influencer is a testament to her enduring legacy.

Lil Miquela: The virtual influencer with a social conscience

The virtual influencer with a social conscience

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Miquela Sousa, more commonly known as Lil Miquela, is a virtual influencer created by the Los Angeles-based startup Brud in 2016, boasting a following of over three million fans on Instagram alone. With her niche being fashion and lifestyle, Lil Miquela has collaborated with a range of brands, from luxury fashion houses to streetwear brands. 

What sets Lil Miquela apart from other virtual influencers is her ability to blur the lines between reality and fiction. She has been featured in music videos and magazine covers and even attended high-profile events like Coachella, making her a hit with fans who love her impeccable style and her advocacy for social causes like Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ rights. 

As per a 2020 evaluation by U.K. online marketplace OnBuy, Brud is projected to earn more than US$10 million annually from Lil Miquela, with each of her Instagram posts charging about US$8,000.

Imma: Japan’s first virtual human and model

first virtual human and model

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Developed by Aww Inc. in 2018, Imma has captured the internet’s attention with her iconic bubble gum pink bob and chic style. With a follower base of 400,000 on Instagram, her creators have meticulously designed her appearance and facial expressions to make her as lifelike as possible. Imma is believed to earn more than US$650,000 per year and charges US$1,192 for each post on social media according to estimates.

With her exceptional modeling skills, Imma has gained significant recognition and was selected for “New 100 Talent To Watch” by Japan Economics Entertainment in 2021. She has also appeared in a variety of media outlets, including fashion and business magazines, television shows and online articles. Furthermore, Imma has been recruited by numerous top brands, such as Porsche Japan, IKEA, Dior, Puma, Nike, Valentino, Amazon and Calvin Klein, to name a few.

Bermuda: The virtual influencer who’s ruffling feathers in the influencer world

The virtual influencer

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Created also by Brud in 2016, Bermuda is a controversial virtual influencer who has made a name for herself on Instagram with her flashy style and bold opinions. Known as an Insta-baddie with her eye-catching makeup, lots of bling and colorful outfits, Bermuda has generated a large following and collaborated with top fashion and automotive brands like Vetements, Chanel, and Mercedes-Benz, making about US$1,310 per post on Instagram. With 256,000 Instagram followers, Bermuda has also expressed an interest in pursuing a music career.

In a highly-publicized incident in April 2018, Bermuda hacked Lil Miquela’s Instagram account and deleted all her photos, demanding that she tell the world the truth about herself. This has generated significant attention and ultimately helped to boost Lil Miquela’s fame. Later, it was revealed to have been a curated drama to promote the virtual influencers by Brud, who “came clean” as the creator of both Bermuda and Lil Miquela.

As the world of influencer marketing continues to expand, the rise of virtual influencers is not to be underestimated. These computer-generated personalities have demonstrated their potential to not only captivate audiences but also secure lucrative partnerships with major brands. While virtual influencers may face criticism for their lack of authenticity compared to their human counterparts, their continued success is a clear indication of their relevance in the industry.

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