AI influencers are everywhere these days. Love or hate them, these virtual models and brand ambassadors are sparking chatter. But is this just a gimmicky fad or can CGI personas really move the needle for brands? Spoiler alert – when strategically deployed, early adopters are seeing serious success.

As a marketing analyst, I’ve been tracking this emerging influencer niche closely. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. But the creative applications and measurable results have won me over.

Let’s dive into 5 big-name brands across diverse sectors that have skillfully gotten in on the ground floor. Analyzing their varied approaches and achievements provides compelling insights into this futuristic tactic.


When powerhouse Prada introduced CGI fashion model Candy in 2021 as the face of their perfume line, I’ll admit I was intrigued but uncertain. However, Candy’s embodiment of Prada’s cutting-edge couture aesthetic and appeal with younger demographics quickly proved this was no gimmick.

Here are some key details on Prada’s successful adoption of an AI influencer:

I’m excited to see how Prada will continue pioneering CGI influencers that organically align with their luxury identity. An interactive virtual store with AI shopping assistants could offer immersive high-end experiences that attract younger audiences. Prada is poised to keep innovating in imaginative ways.


Fast food giant KFC is creatively keeping its founder Colonel Sanders relevant. The animated version of the Colonel appears across social media and ads, quipping about new products and generally acting as the brand’s personification.

This CGI spokesperson earns laughs and likes while allowing KFC to control the Colonel’s narrative. And he rarely complains about early morning shoots! The consistency and cost savings versus human celebs make the virtual Colonel a savvy investment.

Here are some key ways the virtual Colonel Sanders has paid off:

I’ll be watching for KFC to potentially expand the Colonel’s role through new video series, branded gaming integrations, and a custom voice assistant. 


LG Electronics made the bold choice to have their AI influencer Reah Keem headline their keynote at the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2021.

This risk paid off, with Reah expertly showcasing LG’s innovations like self-driving robots before captivating crowds. Media buzz was ubiquitous, with LG receiving over 50 articles highlighting their embrace of AI technology. Reah’s existence alone aligns with LG’s tech leader brand image.

Here are some of the achievements and impacts of LG’s AI influencers:

LG got prime value out of its modest investment in an AI influencer. It will be interesting to see LG leverage increasingly lifelike AI brand representatives across global launches and trade shows.

To lead innovation, LG could also develop its own proprietary CGI influencer tech. The future looks bright and virtual for this tech giant.


Iconic high-fashion house Balmain made waves by featuring only CGI models in their Pre-Fall 2018 ad campaign. The sci-fi “New Balmain Army” of virtual beauties Shudu, Margot, and Zhi had fashionistas and geeks raving.

Sure, some traditionalists balked. But these AI muses generated invaluable media commentary, with over 300 articles written about Balmain’s innovation. By embracing the avant-garde, Balmain cemented its reputation as a fierce innovator, even if there were some ethical concerns. Their risk paid off.

Here’s how these AI influencers made an impact on Balmain:

While this unconventional campaign carried some criticism and risks, it cemented Balmain’s position as an innovative force in the luxury space. It also demonstrated the unique advantages of virtual influencers in enabling brands to create hyper-stylized and cutting-edge content.

I anticipate Balmain will continue partnerships with cutting-edge virtual model designers and commission bespoke 3D collections. 

Hugo Boss 

As part of their major image overhaul targeting younger consumers, heritage brand Hugo Boss smartly partnered with virtual influencers Imma and Nobody Sausage.

These collaborations generated engagement and chatter, especially among Boss’ desired Gen Z audience. Posts from the AI influencers accounted for over 20% of Hugo Boss’ social impressions last quarter. This cost-effective move signaled the brand’s focus on future-forward digital experiences.

Here’s a look at how AI influencers supported Hugo Boss’s rebrand:

Hugo Boss’s embrace of virtual influencers showed their commitment to refreshing their image and competing for the next generation of fashion consumers. 

Looking ahead, Hugo Boss could harness influencer tech to bring virtual fashion shows to life. To attract younger audiences, branded mobile games and competitions featuring their CGI collaborators seem like a natural fit. 

Final Thoughts on the Future with AI Influencers

The marketing potential of CGI influencers is still being unlocked, but forward-thinking brands are already seeing impressive results. As the technology rapidly evolves, virtual influencers will become even more hyper-realistic and interactive.

What excites me most is how AI influencers are already shaping wider culture and redefining how brands engage audiences. I eagerly anticipate how Prada, Balmain and other innovators will continue dreaming up captivating new applications.

For skeptics, remember that new mediums always provoke initial resistance before becoming commonplace. The brands pioneering AI influencers today will reap long-term benefits from embracing cutting-edge trends early.

The genie is out of the bottle – virtual influencers are here to stay. Savvy marketers should be proactively exploring how to strategically incorporate CGI brand representatives and the opportunities are endless.

I can’t wait to see how brands continue harnessing AI influencer technology in new ways to tell their stories and make meaningful connections. Let’s make the future happen now—it is here!


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