The onslaught of virtual ambassadors and influencers for luxury brands
From virtual ambassadors and influencers to digital supermodel: these will undoubtedly be the new faces of luxury brands possibly leaving humans to rest.
Ambassadors have been here for as long as celebrities have been in the making. Since Hollywood’s Golden Age, we have seen countless superstars being the face of luxury brands. At first with only Western film stars such as Charlize Theron for Dior or Kristen Stewart for Chanel then onto influencers like Emma Chamberlain for Cartier to more recently Kpop idols who have gained a wide range of popularity over the last few years with biggest Korean groups, BTS and BlackPink. Throughout decades brand’s ambassadors have changed along with trends and stars of the moment. But today with more diverse marketing channels and the expansion of the whole digital ecosystem, luxury brands are slowly but surely shifting towards meta-humans as their brands’ spokeperson.
Digital ambassadors are now brands new favorite toy. In fact, over the last few years, more and more brands are investing in avatar development and coming up with their own digital ambassador : Livi, LVMH’s virtual ambassador was revealed in early 2022, to represent the group’s innovation strategies, Prada’s computer-generated Avatar, Candy, was created to promote and revive the Candy fragrance collection or more recently Maxine, Chelsea and Sissy, NARS’ newest digital spokespersons, were inspired by the lipstick shades each of them is representing and this is just to name a few.
the asian market as pioneer of the virutal industry
Virtual influencers are no newsflash to the Asian market. Actually, the use virtual idols, as they call it, is much more accepted and has been adopted and embraced for quite a while now, especially in China. Indeed, Ayayi, first virutal influencer in China, has partenered with over 30 high-end brands including Louis vuitton, Dior and Prada which is more than most influencers or models out on the market right now. According to an article from Jing Daily, “the meta-human idol industry is estimated to reach $42.6 billion by 2030 in China alone ».
Luxury brands are tapping into a younger generation that has proven itself to be a booming market over the last few years: NFTs being the perfect example for that. Indeed, as Gen Zs are born in the digital age, they are more likely to embrace concepts such as virtual ambassadors driving luxury brands to experiment and invest into that. In doing so, luxury brands are also in a way rejuvenating themselves and their products all the while being in touch with today’s reality even innovating and reversing the luxury industry as we know it.
On the other hand, having virtual influencers ensure brands complete control over their ambassadors, far from scandals and controversy that traditional ambassadors can sometimes lead to.
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