Most marketers are familiar with virtual influencers, creators who exist online via artwork, social media accounts, and AI. These online creators continue to rise in popularity as they offer unique benefits to brand partnerships, emerging from all over the globe. There are hundreds of up-and-coming virtual influencers on Instagram today — beyond the big names like Lil Miquela.
Following a spotlight on Seoul-based virtual influencer SUA, Emplifi connected with Ivaany, a virtual influencer of French Guianese, Haitian, and Brazilian heritage. Primarily posting fashion and beauty-related content on Instagram, Ivaany also uses her online presence to tell her story, origins, and values with her audience of over 11,000 followers.
Read on to get to know Ivaany and her insights on influencer marketing!
Hi, Ivaany! How would you define a “virtual influencer”?
I would say that a virtual influencer is a fictional character that engages with people on social media. It can be a computer-generated character, an avatar from a game, or a digital persona. Unlike traditional human influencers, virtual influencers are entirely fictional. Sometimes, they are designed to appear like real human influencers, while other times they look like fictional creatures. They have unique personalities, styles, stories, and interests, and enjoy sharing them with their audience.
Why did you decide to join Instagram? How long have you been active?
I made my first appearance on Instagram in February 2019. Time flies so quickly...
I decided to join this social network because it's a platform where creatives can express themselves. There were already some virtual influencers present, and I wanted to join them on this platform. As a creative, I believe Instagram is one of the social networks where you can really unleash your work, whether it's photography or videos. It's the platform for creatives.
Love that outlook! What do you like to post about?
I really love fashion, and I enjoy makeup too. I wanted to primarily post about that, but I also knew I needed to find a way to stand out. So, I decided to focus on who I am and what defines me: my origins, my story, positivity, and self love. If you look at my content on social media, you can get a sense of some of my values.
What are some of your favorite brands? Can you tell us a bit about any campaigns or partnerships you’ve participated in?
Some of my favorite brands include Balmain, Mugler, and Diesel. My first collaborations were back during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, where many brands collaborated with virtual influencers. I had the honor to work with designer Annaiss Yucra and discover her brand, as well as many other brands like Juan de la Paz. Those collaborations truly left a mark on me. I collaborated twice with Juan de la Paz for virtual fashion shows.
I have also worked with many fashion designers from all around the world, as well as my fellow colleagues from Maison Amany, the virtual agency that created me.
Why do you think virtual influencers are a good option for brands to partner with? What do brands need to know about creators like you?
I believe working with virtual influencers can be a great option for brands. It allows the development of projects that may not be achievable in the real world at the moment. We can push the boundaries beyond what is physically possible. The rules are simply not the same in the 3D realm.
A virtual character can be multiplied, reused infinitely, and change outfits with a simple click. We can create and imagine colors, effects, movements, and things that are not achievable in reality. We often hear about Web 3.0, but with virtual influencers, we go even further. We are entering an era where filters, gaming, and digital collectibles are taking the lead. Thanks to AI, we can see all the possibilities that could exist. Imagine that a virtual influencer can be integrated into all of this… What should take you two years to materialize could be done in two days.
What are your long-term goals?
At the moment, I'm heavily focused on creating new videos and launching my website. I have many dreams that I would love to achieve, and a mood board filled with brands I dream to work with. I'm currently putting all my efforts into these goals, aiming to improve my content and create stunning things to represent my roots and make my people proud.
Any last thoughts you’d like to share?
I hope this will be helpful for those who still have questions about virtual influencers. I'd like to mention that there are different types of virtual influencers; we don't use the same software. Some virtual influencers are 100% made with AI and CGI, while others are CGI models with good storytellers. Remember, virtual influencers are not here to replace real influencers (at least I am not!).
Hope to see y'all on the gram. XOXO, Ivaany.