As a business owner, marketer, or advertiser, you’re always on the lookout for new and effective ways to promote your products or services. One trend that you may have heard about is the use of a CGI influencer, also known as computer-generated imagery influencers or virtual influencers. 

You may be wondering what CGI influencers are and how they can be used in your marketing efforts. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this emerging trend and explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of using CGI influencers to market your business.

CGI Influencer: Opportunities and Challenges for Brands

So, let’s start.

What are CGI Influencers?

CGI (computer-generated imagery) influencers, sometimes referred to as virtual influencers, are fictional, computer-generated people with the real-life characteristics and personalities of human beings. They are managed by their creators, who use CGI technology to produce content for them. By sharing videos and photos of their lives and using products or services through their social media channels, they can influence their followers to support the brands they partner with.

We were first introduced to the use of computer-generated imagery or CGI technology in films like Avatar and Star Wars, as the director of these films, James Cameron, brought them to the mainstream of Hollywood.

Today, businesses can use CGI technology to promote their products and services or increase brand awareness by employing CGI characters or avatars. 

They partner with brands and promote products as if they’re using them in their everyday lives, influencing their followers to support the products or services they use. And because these CGI models live and look like human influencers, they are gaining attention and fascination from their audience.

Although marketers were initially suspicious of CGI influencers, it’s clear that there is an increasing number of fan interest created by these digital characters. Consequently, this has started to open up new possibilities for many businesses to advertise their brands.

It may seem a little unusual to use virtual characters to advertise your brand on social media, but social media marketers are discovering that these CGI influencers have several important benefits.

Let’s look at the advantages of using CGI influencers in your marketing campaigns.

Advantages of Using CGI Influencers

Brands have complete control over their digital influencers thanks to CGI influencers. In real life, influencers may stray from their message or represent social values that turn off some target markets.

For instance, influencers are getting more outspoken in their political and social viewpoints, as highlighted in this recent industry research from Takumi entitled “Into the Mainstream: Influencer Marketing in Society.”

This gives followers a sense of empowerment, raising demand for politically charged influencer posts. However, this tendency appears too divisive for brands. Brands don’t have to worry about politically biased influencer posts when using CGI influencers.

Additionally, marketers don’t have to worry that these digital influencers will be the subject of a scandal as the developer’s digital avatar is programmed to behave exactly as the brand wants.

Not only can you influence the virtual influencer, but you can also change the setting in which they engage. CGI influencers can pose with brands almost anywhere in the world without actually going there themselves. For this reason, several industry experts think that CGI influencers may be particularly beneficial for tourism brands.

Whenever brands want to use a specific colour palette, those colours can be virtually added by programmers. The same holds for clothing, make-up, architecture, landscapes, co-branded advertising campaigns or a CGI influencer posing alongside famous people and other social media influencers, and more.

Without a doubt, the world of CGI social media celebrities offers a wealth of creative possibilities for brands.

In addition to the control they offer, CGI influencers also have the potential to reach a wider audience than human influencers. For example, a CGI influencer can be programmed to speak multiple languages and appeal to a global audience.

Disadvantages of Using CGI Influencers

But what about the potential drawbacks of using CGI influencers? One concern is that some consumers may not trust or be fully engaged with a virtual influencer in the same way they would with a real person.

Brands will need to carefully consider how to balance the benefits of using CGI influencers with the potential for a lack of authenticity or connection with their audience.

Another potential issue is the cost of creating and maintaining a CGI influencer. While the upfront cost may be lower than hiring a human influencer, the ongoing costs of producing content and updating the CGI influencer’s appearance and persona can add up. Brands will need to weigh the potential returns against the investment required.

Looking to the future, it’s likely that we’ll see more and more brands using CGI influencers in their marketing efforts.

As technology continues to improve and the authenticity of CGI influencers becomes more convincing, it’s possible that they could become a major player in the influencer marketing landscape.

However, it’s also important for brands to carefully consider the potential drawbacks and ensure that they are using CGI influencers in a way that resonates with their audience.

Also read: Get to Know All About Animation Character

Meet the CGI Influencers

CGI influencers, or computer-generated imagery influencers, are a relatively new trend in the world of digital marketing. These virtual avatars have real-life characteristics and personalities and are used by brands to promote their products and services through social media channels. 

One of the earliest and most well-known examples of a CGI influencer is Hatsune Miku, a popular Japanese virtual singer who has amassed a following of over 2 million people on Facebook since her creation in 2007. 

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credits:

As more and more companies saw the potential of these virtual personalities, the use of CGI influencers in influencer marketing began to grow.

Here are some of the most well-known CGI influencers that have gained significant followings on social media:

Lil Miquela

With over 2.9 million followers on Instagram as of November 2022, Lil Miquela is one of the most popular CGI influencers. Created by the Los Angeles-based tech startup Brud, Lil Miquela is a 19-year-old Brazilian-American woman who aspires to be a singer in Los Angeles. She has 6 years of virtual experience and has collaborated with well-known brands like Prada and Diesel. She has also been featured in publications like GQ and Vogue and has used her platform to support causes like Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights.

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credit: Instagram (@lilmiquela)


Shudu is the world’s first digital supermodel, created by digital artist and photographer Cameron-James Wilson in London. Modelled after the “Princess of South Africa” Barbie doll, Shudu has faced controversy due to being a black woman created by a white man. However, Wilson has stated that he created Shudu to promote inclusivity and empowerment.

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credit: Instagram (@shudu.gram)


Imma is a virtual model created by Tokyo-based CG company Modeling Cafe. With her quirky bubblegum pink hair and unique Kawaii style, Imma has gained widespread fame on social media. She has 407k followers on Instagram with 709 posts and often discusses topics related to the environment, gender, and race.

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credit: Instagram (@imma.gram)


Blawko is another creation of Brud and has social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Known for his streetwear style and habit of wearing a mask over his lower face, Blawko has 137k followers on Instagram with 162 posts. He identifies as a “young robot sex icon.”

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credit: Instagram (@blawko22)


Noonoouri is a CGI influencer based in Paris, created by Munich-based digital artist Joerg Zuber. With her unique appearance and focus on eco-friendly fashion, Noonoouri has gained a following on social media. She identifies as a digital character, activist, and vegan, and typically discusses topics related to animal rights and veganism.

Meet the CGI Influencers

Image Credit: Instagram (@noonoouri)

2D Characters Adapted into Virtual World of Influencers

While many 2D characters have been created over the years, not all of them have been adapted to become influencers. But some companies are starting to experiment with using 2D characters as digital influencers, creating digital characters that can interact with fans on social media platforms, and creating more immersive interactive experiences.

Here are a few examples of 2D characters that have been adapted into virtual influencers:

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku is a virtual singer and a Vocaloid software developed by Crypton Future Media. She has been used as a virtual influencer for music concerts and events. Singer Pharrell Williams even remixed Livetune’s song “Last Night, Goodnight” featuring Hatsune Miku.

Kizuna Ai

Kizuna Ai is a virtual YouTuber and a virtual influencer. She first appeared on YouTube in December 2016, and has since amassed a large following on the platform and has been used in various brand campaigns. Some of her collaborations were exploring Tokyo virtually using Google Maps and talking with other AI like Apple’s iPhone assistant Siri.


Gudetama is a virtual character created by Sanrio, the creator of Hello Kitty. He is an egg yolk with a face and a lazy personality and has been used as a virtual influencer in various brand campaigns and events. For example, Taiwanese brand Stayreal collaborated with Gudetama and listed limited edition T-shirts, caps, cups, masks, and other products.

2D Characters Adapted into Virtual World of Influencers

Image Credits:

The Ethical Implications of CGI Influencers in Influencer Marketing

As the use of CGI influencers in influencer marketing started to gain some traction, businesses need to consider the ethical implications of these virtual avatars. 

In this section, we’ll explore some main ethical concerns surrounding CGI influencers, including the risk of misleading or manipulating consumers, the potential for exploitation, and the importance of respecting the autonomy and dignity of these virtual influencers. 

We’ll also discuss how businesses can address these concerns and promote ethical practices with CGI influencers to build trust with consumers and protect the integrity of influencer marketing.

1. The Risk of Misleading or Manipulating Consumers with CGI Influencers

One of the main ethical concerns surrounding CGI influencers is the risk of misleading or manipulating consumers. Since CGI influencers are not real people, they can be programmed to behave and present themselves in any way that a brand desires. This means that brands using CGI influencers may be promoting a highly curated and unrealistic image of their products or lifestyles, which could lead to disappointment or even harm when consumers attempt to emulate what they see.

2. Transparency and Labelling: Ensuring Consumers Know They’re Interacting with a Virtual Avatar

To address this concern, it’s important for brands to be transparent about their use of a CGI influencer and to clearly label them as such. This can help ensure that consumers are aware that they are interacting with a virtual avatar and not a real person, and can make it easier for them to distinguish between genuine content and marketing messages.

3. The Potential for Exploitation of CGI Influencers

Another ethical concern with CGI influencers is the potential for exploitation. Since CGI influencers are not real people, they don’t have the same rights and protections as human influencers. This means that they can be used to promote products or services without compensation or consent, and can be subject to manipulation or abuse by their creators or brands.

4. Respecting the Autonomy and Dignity of CGI Influencers

While they may not have the same rights and protections as human influencers, businesses need to develop guidelines and policies for the use of CGI influencers that respect their autonomy and dignity, even if they are not human.

This could include measures such as ensuring that they are treated fairly and ethically and that they are allowed to opt out of certain campaigns or content if their creators so choose.

By treating the CGI influencer with respect and care, brands can ensure that they are promoting a responsible and sustainable message to their audience, while also avoiding potential risks or harms.

This can help protect the integrity and credibility of influencer marketing as a whole and can help build trust with consumers.

5. Building Trust and Protecting the Integrity of Influencer Marketing through Ethical Practices with CGI Influencers

Overall, the ethical considerations of CGI influencers in influencer marketing are complex and multifaceted. But by being transparent and ethical in their use of these virtual avatars, brands can ensure that they are promoting a responsible and sustainable message to their audience, while also avoiding potential risks or harms.

Also read: What is Virtual Influencer and The Benefit For Your Business

The Future of CGI Influencers in Influencer Marketing

The trend of using CGI influencers in influencer marketing is still in its early stages, so it’s difficult to predict whether they will continue to be successful in the long term. Some experts view CGI influencers as a form of digital mascot, similar to the Geico Gecko, while others see them as the beginning of a new age in product development and marketing. 

In either case, businesses that are open to trying new things and working with animation production companies to create CGI influencers can potentially increase their revenues and brand recognition.

These virtual avatars may exist only on screens, but they have the potential to improve the user experience beyond the digital world.

Elevate Your Brand with Superpixel’s Animation Services

CGI influencers may have started to attract more interest from various brands but creating unique digital content for your audience through various digital content formats is still widely supported and used.

Superpixel, a design-driven animation company, is helping brands create meaningful and compelling stories and digital models using 2D and 3D animation, tailored to the specific needs of the target audience, allowing them to easily relate to the characters being presented.

Contact Superpixel today to learn how we can use animation to create a character that appeals to your target audience and helps you achieve your business goals.