Virtual influencer (virtual celebrity), which is said to be more human-like than human with sophisticated computer graphics (CG) technology, is becoming an influential marketing tool in the global market. Due to the nature of the industry where trust is important in Korea, “virtual models” have appeared in advertisements for conservative financial companies and are drawing attention.
According to related industries on the 10th, Shinhan Life, an integrated company of Shinhan Life Insurance and Orange Life, unveiled its first advertisement when it was launched on the 1st. Rosy (22) is the advertising model that marked the beginning of Shinhan Life. In the advertisement, he travels between the forest, the city center, and the subway and dances to the music. The video is gaining popularity, with more than 830,000 YouTube views within a week of its release.
[Shinhan Life] adds surprise to life. /Shinhan Live YouTube
The advertisement drew attention as it became known that Model Rosie was a virtual human, not a real person. Created by Sidus Studio X in August last year, Virtual Human Lodge is a influencer with more than 30,000 Instagram followers. It is set to have a look that MZ generation (millennial+Z generation, born in the 1980s and early 2000s) prefers and hobbies such as world travel, yoga, and eco-life. Rosie, who was acting like a real person on SNS, said in December last year that she was a virtual person, but it is hard to find such unnatural appearance that there were comments saying, “I want to meet her in person.”
The marketing market using virtual influencer such as Rosie is growing globally. According to Business Insider Intelligence, a U.S. market research firm, the marketing cost that companies spend on influences is expected to double from $8 billion in 2019 to $15 billion in 2022. Industry analysts say that virtual influencer will account for a significant portion of this.
Virtual influencer, which has recently emerged, is difficult to distinguish from humans due to the development of technology and has the advantage of overcoming human limitations. All scenes can be produced with CG, enabling marketing without restriction of time and space. In addition, unlike real people, the activity period is long because they are not sick or old, and there is less risk of advertising being suspended due to privacy controversy.
The world’s most famous virtual influencer is Lil Miquela, 19, created by U.S. startup “Broad.” Set as a Brazilian American living in Los Angeles (LA), he has more than 3 million Instagram followers, with a unit price of $8,500 (about 9.76 million won) per year for advertising, with 13 billion won in revenue. Working as a model for luxury brands such as Chanel and Calvin Klein, he recently signed with CAA (Creative Artists Agency), one of the top three Hollywood agencies that includes pop star Lady Gaga.
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