Avatars making waves with brands, bands and the bereaved
Avatars are currently being used as proxy’s for celebrities, ways of ‘reincarnating’ loved ones and as a marketing tactic.
You saw Avatar in 2009, but those avatars are not what we are talking about. The ones we're talking about are a technologically advanced graphical representation of a persona, that are being used to imitate and create new, past and present individuals.
Getting celebrities to promote a product in person nowadays is an expensive exercise and out of reach for many brands. An "avatar agency" like Genies, allows avatars to connect influencers and brands to Gen Z, using interactive, customisable avatars.The concept allows the representation of a brand ambassador to be present in a digital form, instead of the physical person being present, allowing many celebrities to be at more places than one.
Many notable brands are jumping at the opportunity to experiment with avatars, with or without the involvement of the talent the avatars are based off.
Gucci jumped on board, to reach Gen Z to allow the user to clone 3D versions of themselves and try on many looks. It's claimed to have resulted in a brand experience rather than advertising for the younger generation.
Taking on competitor bitmoji, Genies and is now launching a software developer kit that charges apps to let you create avatars and use them for chat, stickers, games, animations and augmented reality.
We're not just seeing brands using avatars, but bands too. Yes you read that correctly, K-Pop girl band aespa has announced its adding a new member to its group - a virtual member named ae-KARINA, digital counterpart to real-life member Karina. Aespa isn't the first K-pop group to do it, but it's definitely drawing attention and is very imaginative.
Finally, avatars (some are calling it a hologram, it looks like an avatar) have been used for appearances of deceased people. Tupac's hologram/avatar made waves when it did a set at Coachella in 2014, and recently Kim Kardashian shared that her husband, Kanye West had a hologram/avatar of her deceased father created for her birthday.
There is clearly a growing market for avatars and their numerous capabilities, particularly potential to provide a brand or sentimental experience. It's exciting to see where they may be used next and what other experiences they could provide!