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Virtual influencer as a brand avatar in interactive marketing.

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Virtual influencer as a brand avatar in interactive marketing

Social media influencers have become an integral part of most brands’ interactive marketing strategy for the past 15 years. Leveraging their unique content and substantial follower base, brands benefit from innovative forms of consumer engagement above and beyond more traditional firm-driven approaches. Alongside the numerous human influencers, a new opinion leader—virtual influencers—entered the stage with early examples launched in 2016. Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters or avatars designed and maintained by experts and digital agencies that help brands appeal to and reach desirable target groups effectively through their digital personalities. Despite their potential impact, little is known to date about these virtual opinion leaders. The purpose of this chapter is to offer a detailed presentation of virtual influencers within their ecosystem, taking into consideration their human influencer counterparts as well as consumer perceptions. Building on an extensive review of the literature and exploratory interviews with a group of young consumers, we make specific recommendations for brands as to how to incorporate virtual influencers into their interactive marketing strategy. This chapter is concluded by offering avenues for future research to help scholars and practitioners interested in pursuing this area and boost their understanding of this innovative and promising digital entity- Book chapter co-written with Bernadett Koles

Détails de l’édition

Éditeur :
Palgrave Macmillan