These Influencers Are Computer-Generated: The Future of Marketing, or Untrustworthy Advertising?

More likely than not, you see influencer posts on your Instagram feed daily. In many ways, they become part of your life — influencing everything from exercise classes you take, to clothes you buy. It’s undeniable that influencer marketing is powerful. In fact, over the past five years the tactic has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Plenty of businesses, both large and small, use influencers across their social platforms to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and increase sales. Examples of successful influencer marketing strategies range from Stride Gum’s partnership with DJ Khaled to Glossier’s partnership with micro-influencers and “regular women”. And, as influencer marketing grows, it’s no longer just limited to humans — as we’ve seen with Jiff Pom, a Pomeranian with over nine million Instagram followers. But if any human (or pet) can become an influencer, it begs the question — do influencers even need to exist in real life? In 2019, computer-generated influencers like Miquela Sousa might argue, “No.” For instance, let’s take a look at this post by Miquela Sousa[…]

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