CGI influencers – By @bellwoodart

By Elle Bellwood


CGI influencers


With an ever-evolving world, new Computer Generated Imagery technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. This will affect my future as a promotional creative. One article that has recently caught my eye is the use of ‘fake people’ as celebrity influencers. 

Using CGI influencers is a fast-growing trend with many brands working with ‘them’ to create unique campaigns. The CGI influencer technology is set to be worth $10 billion by next year. 

Looking more closely into the movement, it actually shocked me. Anyone who hasn’t delved into the fake influencer world, please look at Lil Miquela on Instagram. She isn’t real, but she is living every aspiring influencer’s dream. Going to premieres, collaborating with big brands such as Calvin Klein and dating hot guys. 

Here is a link to the Calvin Klein campaign where Bella Hadid kisses CGI influencer Lil Miquela. Arguably it looks like soft porn and also, with Lil Miquela only being 19 it seems exploitative and wrong. Please, just watch the video and let me know how you think. 


From an outsider’s point of view, it’s absolutely bonkers. From a business perspective, it’s perfect. You can have an ‘influencer’ post a picture, exactly how you want. You don’t have to worry about them not uploading a great photo, or messing up the caption because it’s all editable. 

CGI influencers have worked with big names such as Fenty Beauty and Balmain, and I bet you didn’t even realise- these ‘fake’ people look real and very perfect. With all the thousands of images we see a day, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference while you are quickly scrolling through your feed. 

But where is this going? How does this affect me? And how do I feel about it? 

Firstly, I will probably end up working with CGI influencers in the future. This opens up a lot of doors as someone fake doesn’t have restrictions. They won’t have to fly 10 hours over to London for a photoshoot. Or it won’t take 5 hours under hair and makeup, if they have a pre-setting feature. It could allow for production time to be quicker, cheaper and easier. 

Secondly, when and where is this going to stop? What’s the next step? In 10 years we will be bored of real and fake influencers, how are we going to sell in the future? 

Thirdly, I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s abstract and unexpected, but we will eventually get bored. I am also worried about how this is going to affect the use of social media and the perception we have on the ‘perfect image’. These people aren’t real anymore. This is going to have a significant effect on mental health and expectations. I also worry about how young some of these influencers are and how they are being portrayed. I don’t agree that Calvin Klein should have presented her kissing Bella Hadid. I almost feel sorry for her? Did anyone ask for her consent? Ethical problems are pinging up in my head all over the place. 

All we can do is sit back and watch the drama unfold. 

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