• Brands’ competition is at its peak during the holiday season, and the race has already started. 

    Over the last five years, holiday sales in November and December have averaged about 19% of total retail sales*, most of which were driven successfully by influencer marketing strategies. More precisely, 49%* of Christmas sales happen during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but there’s still that 51%* will purchase all the Christmas gifts during the following month.

    Holiday influencer marketing campaigns are typically prepared well in advance to benefit from this crucial sales period.

    How to approach Christmas campaigns

    From micro- to nano-influencer to macro-influencers, as a brand, you will see that the ones that click with your values and vision are the perfect fit for your campaign.

    Influencer Marketing has become a much more complex solution than it used to be. This is why we want to share the essential tips to succeed in the Holiday season campaign.

    Technology is there, then use it!

    Since 2013 at SamyRoad, we have developed predictive technology aimed at enabling brands to understand crucial variables such as Brand Affinity, an index that quantifies the affinity between the brand itself, the influencer and the audience, or the Content Affinity, which means the identification of the subjects with the highest volume of mentions and interactions through social listening.

    Be emotional and diverse, be authentic. 

    Influencer marketing is not just about finding the right influencer; we must remember that the message and the way we communicate are essential too. 

    Our target audience is slowly losing their capability of attention, it’s hard to accept, but it’s true: they feel overwhelmed. When you think of all the messages they see simultaneously, only the ones that reach their mind will succeed. 

    Entertainment is king

    Entertain your audience, and make it exciting for them while you keep the brand’s values on point.

    Stay away from the static world; try experimenting and introducing the video format to your campaigns. 

    Think out of the box. 

    Paid media must be part of your brand’s strategy to increase traffic, sales, and a conversation around your product and brand. You will reach your target and future audiences faster through paid media, especially if you use it accurately and truthfully. The more tools you can use for a more successful influencer campaign, the better outcome you will get from it. 

     It’s time to make a choice: consideration or performance

    It is essential that there is strategic planning in your influencer marketing campaign to be able to define an action plan that is aligned with what the brand expects to obtain from the campaign.

    That’s why as a brand manager you need to define what you expect to obtain from the campaign and whatever you decide it should be easily linked to any of these two goals: consideration or performance.



    Consideration campaigns

    Back to the basics. When you look for a higher consideration towards your brand, you need to either educate or re-educate your customers on all the benefits and features that your brand, products or services offer. Once your audience knows all these positive things about your brand, you need to ensure that they are aware of them during the purchase process and ready for any problem or urgency. 

    Here are the main tips to boost the consideration of your brand: 

    Be part of the influencer’s storytelling 

    As a brand, we cannot intervene as outsiders inside the influencer’s storytelling; you need to be part of it. It needs to feel natural, not an imposed collaboration. The more the brand lives inside the influencer’s story, the more the audience will believe in your brand. 

    Use your product to generate higher empathy

    Create content based on moments or situations the audience will experience in the coming days. Content that empathizes with the audience generates a greater bond with them. The more authentic and relatable content, the more your audience will listen to what you say. 

    Teach your audience how to use your product or when its best to use or consume it, especially for these special dates. 

    If you are in the  food industry, have your influencers cook the perfect Christmas recipe with your product. If you’re in the makeup industry, have your influencers show how they will use your product for New Year’s Eve. 

    Explore the power of Hashtags

    Choose your format according to the medium you will use, and remember the power of hashtags. Using a hashtag that sticks throughout the campaign will make it easier for your audience to track you. It’s a way of organizing your content under the same folder. 

    Performance campaigns

    We’ve seen during black Friday how influencers not only shared a discount for specific brands but also shared which products they love from the brand. This helped users choose the product from the brand because their influencer uses it.

    Make the audience desire the product.

    The more the influencer leads and guides how to use and when to use specific products, the more the audience will feel like buying them.

    Guide the audience through the influencer.

    Using a live format, having the influencer create live content and giving your audience a testimonial about specific products will help them decide and buy the product in less time. 

    Be accessible, always.

    The more accessible the audience to access the products, the more traffic your website will get. Therefore make sure that your social media links to your website and your Instagram shop, and make your audience swipe up their favourite.

    “How to create the perfect influencer marketing campaign? Combining all the mediums and platforms we have and constantly reinventing ourselves through creative strategies. And by not living by the book and experimenting with different formats such as case studies, Ebooks, In-person events, podcasts, videos and other types of content.”

    Ricky Pombo Head of Brands & Campaign Strategy At Samy Alliance
  • It is undeniable that today’s creativity and advertising go hand in hand with social media platforms. The familiarity that this new way of targeting the consumer transmits has managed to achieve an even more significant impact in a short time than traditional media. However, is it worth it when it comes to generating content? The answer is no. Although the platforms have achieved excellent results in recent years, the truth is that the consumer needs new stimuli. The excess of advertising is becoming increasingly exhausting and is beginning to generate rejection among the audience.

    How to solve it? Brands are transparent; creativity must be the main ingredient for Influencer Marketing campaigns to be accepted naturally and organically. And the primary goal of campaigns with influencers is to generate brand awareness and increase engagement with their audiences. This has raised different debates within agencies about influencers’ participation in the creative process of campaigns. After all,  they know their followers and what works for them.

    Influencers as a creative part of the process

    It is impossible not to have heard of the latest advertising campaign for the Spanish food service start-up specializing in hamburgers: Vicio. A campaign around a play on words with the name of the competition (GOIKO) and the leading influencer (Jessica Goicoechea). 

    “This is the first campaign of this style that we carried out in Vice, and we wanted to be faithful to our style. Having Jessica as the first visible face of Vice could not make us more excited since we both share values and principles when it comes to communicating. At Vicio, we are natural and honest, and we like to define our style as “Elegant Flash”. We believe that our values fit perfectly with Jessica and with the content she creates”, points out its Co-founder and Co-CEO.

    This campaign is a clear example of how unity is strength since it meets all the requirements for success; creativity, innovation and ingenuity through its key protagonist, the influencer Jessica Goicochea.

    Influencers and creativity: the main characters 

    In addition to the Vicio campaign, we find other brands where the strategy spins around creativity, such as the Nutella campaign. In it, not only does creativity stand out, but also the correct choice of the protagonists to transmit the messages. Through “We have good things at home”, the campaign vindicates our land’s beauty, honouring our country’s unique landscapes thanks to its special edition jars. For this, the Samyroad agency created a strategy where everything took place in creating a space called “Casa Nutella”. A set of fun and educational activities were carried out by a group of influencers from different parts of the country, including Tania Llasera, Tomas Páramo, Alma Obregón and Barbesito, who transmitted the event through his Twitch account. This experiential event, where the influencers enjoyed different challenges related to our country’s landscapes and cooking, was a complete success thanks to the fact that it reached the audience in an organic, distinctive and creative way, providing value and content.

    These campaigns are clear benchmarks of how creativity in Influencer Marketing is, without a doubt, one of its cornerstones. With it, we not only manage to generate value in the audiences and position brands, but it also allows us to win over influencers when transmitting their messages. As we mentioned earlier, no one knows their followers better than they do, and nothing is more motivating for them than participating and being part of campaigns where they have a fundamental role and are listened to give their audience the quality content they deserve.

  • TikTok Ads: How to get started

    Date: October 31, 2022

    Category: Social Media

    TikTok Ads provides you with plenty of options to advertise on the platform. But first of all, it is important to recognize that TikTok has taken the internet by storm in recent months and a few years, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. 

    The platform has been downloaded over 2 billion times and has over 800 million active monthly users. 

    And with users spending an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, it’s no wonder that brands are starting to take notice and need to invest.

    If you’re thinking about using TikTok for your business, here’s everything you need to know about getting started with TikTok advertising.

    What is TikTok Advertising?

    As with other social media such as Facebook Ads, TikTok has launched its ad manager, called TikTok Ads or TikTok Business, to help brands and consumers with their campaigns and advertisements. 

    TikTok Advertising is a new and exciting way to reach out to potential customers on the popular short-form video app. 

    With over 800 million active users, TikTok offers businesses a huge opportunity to reach a wide range of people with their advertising campaigns. 

    Getting started with TikTok Advertising is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps.

    First, businesses need to create a TikTok account and start creating engaging content that will resonate with their target audience. 

    Once they have a solid following, they can then start running ads on the platform. TikTok offers a variety of ad types, so businesses can experiment to find what works best for them.

    TikTok and its audience diversity

    As TikTok becomes more and more popular, it’s important to remember that there is a diversity of audiences using the platform. 

    While some users are there for entertainment purposes, others are using it as a tool for marketing, networking, or even education. 

    It’s important to consider your audience when creating content for TikTok, as different types of users will be looking for different things. 

    Keep this in mind as you create content, and you’ll be sure to appeal to a wide range of users.

    TikTok is attracting a more diverse audience than other social media platforms for a number of reasons. 

    Firstly, the platform is extremely user-friendly and easy to use, making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. 

    Secondly, TikTok offers a wide range of content, from funny clips and videos to educational content and vlogs. 

    This means that there is something for everyone on the platform, regardless of their interests. 

    Finally, TikTok is constantly innovating and evolving, which keeps users engaged and coming back for more. 

    As a result, it is no surprise that TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms around.

    Check some numbers:

    • 57% of Tiktok users are women and 43% are men. 
    • 43% of Tiktoks global audience is between 18 and 24 years old  
    • 32% of its users are between 25 and 34. 
    • Only 3.4% of Tiktoks audience is over the age of 55. 
    • 138 million users are from the United States. 
    • 21% of Americans have said that they have used tiktok in 2021. 
    • 90% of tiktok users visit the ap more than once in a day. 
    • Bytedance, the company that owns tiktok, has a collection of apps that has over 1 billion total monthly active uses.

    The Different Types of TikTok Ads

    There are 3 main types of TikTok ads: in-feed, branded content, and hashtag challenges. In-feed ads are the most common and appear in between users’ videos. 

    Branded content ads are sponsored videos from influencers or brands that are clearly marked as ads. 

    Hashtag challenges are creative campaigns that encourage users to submit videos using a specific hashtag.

    Also, we have picked out the various types of TikTok Ads so you can choose what will be most effective in reaching your target audience. 

    In-feed video 

    These are ads that appear for TikTok users on the “For You” page.

    Brand takeover 

    This kind of ad is called “brand takeover” and enables you to dominate the conversation by taking up the whole screen for a few seconds. It then turns into a video ad.

    Spark ads 

    TikTok launched this ad type in 2021, giving brands the ability to sponsor organic content created by influencers who engage with audiences about that brand and its products.

    Image ads 

    Brands can place image ads in video ads that will appear on news-feed apps that are accessible through TikTok: BuzzVideo, TopBuzz and Babe.

    Video ads 

    These ads appear full-screen videos of 5 to 60 seconds in a user’s “For You” feed.

    Pangle ads 

    Pandle, a video management platform integrated with TikTok, offers different options for you to promote your videos on the platform. 

    By using video ads, you can target any audience from a specific country or demographic.

    Carousel ads 

    These ads allow you to provide up to 10 images that appear in TikTok’s news feed apps.

    To get started with TikTok advertising, businesses first need to create a profile on the app. Then, they can create an ad and choose their target audience. 

    TikTok offers a variety of targeting options, including location, age, gender, interests, and behaviors. 

    Once the ad is created, businesses can choose to run it as a promoted video or as an in -app photo story with multiple images

    The Different Types of TikTok Advertising Campaigns

    There are a few different types of TikTok advertising campaigns that brands can use to get started with this new and exciting social media platform. 

    For example, some brands choose to run influencer-led campaigns, where they work with popular TikTok users to promote their products or services. 

    Others opt for more traditional advertising methods, like running adverts in between users’ videos.

    Whichever approach you decide to take, it’s important to ensure that your TikTok advertising campaign is well-targeted and engaging. 

    After all, TikTok users are notoriously fickle, and if they don’t like what they see, they’re likely to move on to the next video in a matter of seconds.

    TikTok advertising might feel completely different from the other social platforms you’re advertising on, like the differences from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But once you understand how to run ads on TikTok, you could see impressive results for your business.

    Now that you know what TikTok Ads is and how it works, whether you’re a company or an influencer, you can count on an Influencer Marketing team to help you grow. 

    At Samy, we have a community of influencers, who are directed to produce efficient content for your brand, including within TikTok.

  • A new entertainment channel and new frontiers

    The possibility for streamers to adapt classic entertainment (series, movies…) to the virtual world is something that has not stopped growing since the appearance of Twitch. 

    The Twitch series consists of grouping many content creators in a specific game. Once in the game, streamers generally follow a roll. Some are heroes, others villains, and others are. The game and the roles create a scenario where various plots occur, as diverse as the series’ participants or the game’s possibilities and new frontiers.

    What kind of entertainment?

    Although the concept of “series” is not new, you can find examples of this on Youtube (see the different chapters of Rubius in Skyrim 13 years ago). The new direct format that Twitch has made it more difficult for streamers to capture the attention of the public, who can now accompany them for hours.

    Series such as Egoland, for the survival type game Rust, promoted by Alexby, Marbella Vice for GTA and 14 days in DayZ (also survival) created by IlloJuan or Tortillaland in Minecraft; have shown that the narrative format proposed by the series is very successful on Twitch. The public waits week after week for their favourite streamers to broadcast the series. Here we have an excellent example of these new communicators’ influence capacity and a new possibility for influencer marketing in the audiovisual world.

    Streamers manage to adapt real-world series to virtual ones, and the best example is what happened with The Squid Game in Roblox, thanks to Rubius.  Rubius announced that he and 122 other YouTubers would compete for a $100,000 prize. The scenario, the tests and the feeling of tension were identical to the show.   During the event’s day, some participants, such as Auronplay or Ibai, entertained more than  100,000 spectators.

    What opportunities are there for the entertainment platforms?

    Big production companies should start thinking of reproducing the content they intend to release on sandbox-type platforms. Create a series for these platforms with the most successful streamers, as in the Game of Squid case, and create sequels to their greatest hits on Twitch formats. The idea of opening their world to the Twitch streaming world strengthens the relationship with their public and gives a new life to their products.

    Imagine creating special series of Game of Thrones on Twitch, of The Power of the Rings or even a reshoot of Harry Potter. 

    As a marketer, how could we adopt this opportunity for our brand?

    Now that audiovisual products have a better adaptation to the format of the Twitch series, advertisers need to follow this new way of entertainment closely.  Since some of the Twitch series could be the right place to create brand entertainment, add value to the brand, and above all, reinforce the most outstanding attributes of the brand.

    This year, parts of the famous hit Egoland 2 are being adapted to the platform so streamers can enjoy the adventure live and try and survive the whole game. Think of how as a marketer, you could enter these live “games”; how for example, a sports brand or a nature brand could create valuable and enjoyable experiences for their audience and new frontiers.

  • During the last years, we have experienced different adversities that have made us depend even more on the media to be able to inform our knowledge and learn how to face these challenges.

    This is nothing new. Since the first newspaper appeared in England in 1702, the media have served, apart from communicating news, as a tool for disseminating information to society.

    Today, however, younger generations, like Alpha, have exchanged traditional media for social media platforms. These new media platforms must also be understood as a change in how the message is spread and received. An influencer no longer only influences the public in certain aspects of their day; they can become a reference for each of the public’s decisions throughout their lives.

    Influencers that influence 

    Until now, our influencers have always been there to recommend different lifestyles. What to wear, what to eat, what to visit, what to do. These were the questions they answered, but recently, influencers have begun to answer the question of how to be and behave in society.

    We can see a clear evolution from influencer to influential, a personality that influences the behaviour of their followers. In other words, an influencer who affects the final purchase of a product can also directly affect the consumer’s way of life.

    The younger generation, the Alpha generation, looks up to influencers for a more humane and realistic lifestyle. They are looking for a guide, someone to follow, with solid values. They look for a personality that empathises with them and tries to guide them to a more compassionate way of life.

    Influencers being influential 

    Now that it’s time for all of us to go back to school, but above all, for the children to return to their classrooms, we are more aware of what happens inside these enclosures.

    The concern for the smallest among us is palpable. To guarantee the children of our society better day-to-days, to protect them from possible unnecessary and irreversible traumas.

    Empathy is one of our most essential tools, which is why the pain and injustice of others hurt us so much.

    A few weeks ago in Spain, we were able to experience the effect that our most influential influencers had on a case of bullying.

    The viral effect that the most famous personalities in the world of influencers had to share their outrage over a case of bullying significantly impacted the young generations, much more than if it had been just an anti-bullying campaign. 

    “The school bathroom reminds me of my sister Maria’s first day of school when a girl pushed her for being the new one. Thank God the situation did not escalate, and we could stop it. Still, I think of all those people who today continue to suffer this bullying and harassment and take refuge in the bathroom to be able to be calm and that nobody bothers them. My heart breaks.” Shares Marta Pombo, a Spanish influencer with more than 800,000 followers.

    The famous streamer Ibai Llanos declared through his channel his anger towards a case of bullying; he even decided to point out the kid that was suffering from it and celebrated his birthday on stream. He condemned the act of bullying and the people who were acting on it. 

    The power of influencers 

    Influencers today have much more power over the public than we can imagine. The responsibility that comes with this power to be a reference and support to their followers.   

    They are not only people who help brands position themselves and transmit their new products, ideas and values, but they are also helpful channels to transmit essential values to the public.

    We have long seen large organisations work and fight to transmit these values. But we must be realistic when it comes to targeting the younger generations.

    The Alpha generation and those yet to come follow their favourite personalities for guidance. What they do and represent will have much more weight on their followers than what large corporations have.

  • Virtual Influencers are the new avatars that live on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and different brands’ advertising campaigns. Over the last few years, virtual influencers have been a growing reality of internet interaction, and their influence is such that some of them have managed to collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands.

    Although they are not real people, virtual influencers (an avatar created digitally) seek to create a community on social networks and show a lifestyle like anyone else.

    Brands collaborate with them to create advertising campaigns because of their continued growth and high engagement.

    NOT THE FIRST VIRTUAL INFLUENCER

    We tend to think that virtual influencers can separate us too much from reality when the truth is that we’ve been exposed to this fiction forever.

    We must remember that all the characters we’ve created through literature or the movies industry are virtual influencers.

    Imagine if Harry Potter was an influencer? How would his IG be? Which brands would he work with?

    Stories create characters for readers
    or viewers to interact with, fall in love or follow. They create communities and a lifestyle and even dictate trends; in other words, fictional characters were the first virtual influencers.

    44% of people have the same level of trust in a product when endorsed by a virtual influencer rather than a human influencer.

    WHAT ARE THE PROS

    The planned and implemented strategy behind each post or story of the virtual influencer encourages brands to work with virtual influencers because as well as being cheaper to work with, there is a reduced risk over working with a human influencer. The team behind each virtual influencer has full control of the narrative, deciding what brands they collaborate with, what the avatar should look like, what it publishes and its principles and values.

    Virtual Influencers could be less controversial than human influencers as avatars are less likely to receive negative comments, similarly for brands that use these influencers. We live in a cancel culture; anything an influencer says or does can have huge and lasting effects on an influential figure’s public perception so working with an influencer who aligns to the brand values is incredibly important.

    The virtual influencer content is highly customizable; there are endless possibilities for creative and seamless product integration. There is nowhere a virtual influencer cannot go and nothing they cannot do.

    Carlos Mendiola, associate director of the Department of Media and Digital Culture at Tec de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe, states that it may be irrelevant for brands if the influencer
    is an avatar. Brands are looking for someone who can engage with an audience and raise awareness about their products.

    Should brands create Virtual Influencers?

    Brands should be asking themselves whether they should start thinking about creating their avatar. This virtual character can represent them on social media and build a community like any other influencer.

    Today we can see quite a few brands that have already created a character in their likeness, a virtual influencer who shares all their values and aesthetics and intends to create a community.

    KFC’s fast-food brand transformed the iconic Colonel Sanders into a virtual avatar and used him for several campaigns as the new image. Like any other model, the new Colonel performs and acts within the brand’s values and creates a stronger bond with the KFC community.

    In South Asia, the fashion brand Puma launched a new campaign for their Puma Future Rider sneaker and created a virtual influencer for the campaign named Maya.

    Designed by UM Studio and Ensemble Worldwide, Maya’s personality evolves as her interests are built according to her interactions on social media, thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

    Prada is another example. They created
    their first virtual influencer named Candy
    to represent Prada’s aesthetic and values through their campaigns, building a stronger connection with their audience.

    These brands demonstrate that the future is within the virtual world; future generations, such as Gen Zs, believe in these new adaptations and feel comfortable creating a community around these virtual avatars.

    Who are these new virtual influencers

    Lil Miquela

    Describes herself as a “19-year-old robot living in Los Angeles with 3 million followers.” Her publications reach more than 60 thousand likes. Among the brands that have decided to collaborate with her are MINI Cooper, Givenchy, Spotify, and Samsung. She has created a large community with whom she even shares parts of her life that have led her to existential crises.

    Ronald F. Blawko

    Known as Blawko, is a self-proclaimed low-life who identifies as a robot man. He spends his time with his other virtual friends on IG or venting on Youtube to his subscribers.

    Blawko has worked with brands such as Aliexpress.

    KnoxFrost

    Another male virtual influencer with more than 600.000 followers on IG, has partnered with global organisations from the World Health Organization to Rock the Vote. Knox has also appeared in various media: Forbes, Business Insider, AdAge, Fortune, Adweek, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Dazed, Betches and CNN.

    Mar.ia

    Is the first Mexican virtual influencer. Her main focus is to raise awareness about different issues the world faces, such as climate change and other human issues such as gender equality.

    Shudu

    Is a digital supermodel in her mid-to-late 20s from South Africa. Shudu advocates for the virtual human race; having worked with Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Balmain, and Smart Car, Shudu spends her time posing in premier, mystical shoot locations to display eye- popping fashion pieces.

  • I feel very fortunate to be part of the generation that experienced the transition from the analogue to the digital world. I was neither too old nor too young. It allowed me to understand the potential of new technologies and simultaneously experience it as something almost magical: the first email, the first web page, the first search engine… A new world to be discovered, and every day was an adventure.

    But the unforgettable memory that blew my mind was when I was visiting a friend, and he showed me the chat on a page called ole.com. He said, “I’m talking live with other people”. That was witchcraft! To talk to people worldwide in real-time on the computer was completely revolutionary for me. 

    We were living in the early days of the internet with 56k connections, ISDN, and the first ADSL… and we were already using the net to connect with others. Later new sites would call themselves ‘social media”, but these networks were already in place from the beginning of time. We talked to our school friends via messenger, met people with the same interests as us on forums, and shared our first university photos on pages like Fotolog. Social media were always there, although we didn’t call them that. 

    We have empowered our relationships through social media that our physical reality cannot be understood without them. I’m not saying anything new, am I? We all know it, and brands know it. Their perception depends on what they say and do through them, who their digital ambassadors are, and what users talk about. It is well known that a tweet can change your life, and this risk is multiplied infinitely in the case of brands.

    We know the power of Facebook, the revolutions of Twitter, the paradigm shift of TikTok or Twitch… We interact with others, known and unknown, in the same ways. We meet new people, debate, create our own tribes, dogmas, taboos… 

    And now, we are at the forefront of a new community model. Platforms like Discord enable users to create smaller closed spaces only invited people can join. Users enjoy this private space since it is where they can discuss with other like-minded individuals with similar values and knowledge around specific topics. Why should I talk to everybody if I want to interact with particular individuals? This thinking is step-by-step arising, especially after Twitch became the most relevant communication platform of the future.  

    Today, The so-called Internet 3.0 is looming on the horizon, but there is still too much talk about it. We don’t know what’s coming up next, we can only dream about what our following networks will be. 

    Martín Brotons

    Planning and Creative Director at Samy Alliance

  • Several content creators and entertainment personalities have joined the NFT craze. 

    People still struggle to understand NFTs, which continues to give the feeling that the majority who bet on them are looking more for speculation on the asset than for their benefit.

    World’s Famous NFTs

    Some of the most famous NFTs in the world are valued at millions of dollars and their main characters are becoming the new Mona Lisa of our time. 

    There are world-famous NFTs artists such as Beeple, a digital artist. He created a series of digital art called Everyday, where the artist created one piece daily. Beeple created an NFT by collecting the first 5 thousand and titled it; “Every day, the first 5,000 days.” This work was auctioned at Christie’s in March 2021 and reached 70 million dollars, becoming the most expensive NFT in history. 

    The Invisible Friends NFT collection created by Swedish artist Marcus Magnusson is becoming the most famous moving collectables in the digital world. Five thousand funny invisible friends with different characteristics, clothes and accessories.

    The Bored Ape Yacht Club collection has 10,000 NFTs with diverse characteristics, attributes and qualities, but one thing in common: they are all bored ape avatars. 

    And many other NFTs collections worth knowing about, are changing the blockchain scenario. 

    Source: https://invisiblefriends.io/

    What’s going on with these NFTs

    Until now, all the famous stories, books, movies, and characters that have made it in history go viral whenever you start to see all the merchandising. Disney opens a section at their park; you see T-shirts, mugs, posters, toys, and any merchandising you could imagine, and it all falls from a story. 

    Lately, we have spotted a slight change in how we commercialize a character or a story. We´ve seen the order of the events slightly shift, and we build our stories from an image instead of the other way around. 

    We´ve seen how gifs and emojis have developed their storyline; now, these new NFT characters are starting to do so. 

    We no longer need to write the story;  our image needs to be viral and the character in it.

    You can see it for yourself, how a bored ape with goofy glasses and a resting face has gone viral worldwide. 

    Source: The Bored Ape website

    The Bored Ape Fever

    Within the NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, or NFT monkeys, are possibly the best known. Many personalities have their monkey and highlight it on social media.

    But what’s next for the Bored Ape? 

    The possibility of turning the bored ape into a video game is one. It will be a play-to-earn game, a standard formula in recent times within the NFT world. The launch this past March 16 of ApeCoin, their cryptocurrency, with which they intend to enhance this title further. A style of games that consists of obtaining products with a monetary value, with the aim that we also add some money.

    Where are we going

    NFTs are no longer one only piece; they can be 100 different things or even a whole 360 campaign. NFTs are a new channel from which we can build a brand from scratch and a unique story to sell and commercialize. 

    It turns out that it is a central axis on which we can franchise and generate products from there. At Dogma, our fellow agency, one of the primary purposes is to manage and store the meta communities where these NFTs and the new 360 business model will live. 

    That is why the management of meta communities is crucial to be able to commercialize these new NFTs. 

  • “Avatars are a key building block for the future of personal identity in the Metaverse,”  said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram. 

    Said and done.

    Instagram has announced/released a new feature that is oriented to keep getting closer to the Metaverse. We are talking about its new avatars.

     The Metaverse is a big puzzle, still to be understood and defined, but these digital personas are the first part of the puzzle.

     Instagram Avatars are customizable 3D personas, and they can reproduce your physical features or reflect how you want to be perceived online.

    Adam Mosseri states that these avatars will be the virtual identity people will use to show up across the Metaverse – whether in an app built by Meta or any other company. 

    They are another forward step towards making the Metaverse a reality. 

    Who are these avatars?

    In the Metaverse, users will be able to interact with each other in a virtual environment. However, not everyone has access to a VR/ AR headset. Therefore, Meta has found its way of bringing a glimpse of Metaverse to its users in 3D avatars.

    These 3D avatars are functional, and users can customize them to be more aligned with their virtual identity. 

    Manish Chopra, Director and Head Partnerships at Meta, said, “Representations in the Metaverse should reflect the real world’s diversity. Avatars are just the first step toward enabling everyone to express themselves in their unique ways.”

    Source: Meta

    Why create your digital avatar?

    We see people comfortably talking to the camera, posing and feeling themselves, while we, on the other hand, can’t. Creating our avatar can help us confront this struggle and feel comfortable in front of the camera. Creating an avatar maximizes your creativity and freedom to be whomever you want. You can create a fictional character that does not depend on your physical barriers, just like when you are playing a video game, and you have to choose your skin. It encourages you to boost your creativity and develop new, breaking content beyond the physical world. 

     

    How can these avatars help your brand?

    The possibilities that an Instagram avatar will have for brands and advertisers is something that we will be able to assess in time. This inclusion of avatars has a lot to do with Meta’s attempt to enhance the Metaverse. Therefore, we can assume that Instagram avatar applications will follow this line. And trying to draw some conclusions, the avatar of a brand may become a communication channel for the brand with its customers. Suppose the avatar is sufficiently developed and capable of creating a loyal audience. In that case, it may replace some Instagrammers when promoting x-brand products or offering content. 

    However, it will be difficult for the avatar to supply the impartiality that flesh and blood Instagram is supposed to have when choosing what to tell us. 

    Everything that we choose to offer through the avatar of our brand will have to be measured because we run the risk that the public will finally assimilate our avatar as a mere customer service channel.





  • Virtual Influencers are the new avatars that live on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and different brands’ advertising campaigns. Over the last few years, virtual influencers have been a growing reality of internet interaction, and their influence is such that some of them have managed to collaborate with large companies.

    Although they are not real people, virtual influencers (an avatar created digitally) seek to create a community on social networks and show a lifestyle like anyone else.

    Because of their continued growth and high engagement, large companies choose them to create advertising collaborations.

    Not the first virtual influencer

    We tend to think that virtual influencers can separate us too much from reality when the truth is that we’ve been exposed to this fiction forever. 

    We must remember that all the characters we’ve created through literature or the movies industry are virtual influencers. 

    Imagine if Harry Potter was an influencer? How would his IG be? Which brands would he work with? 

    Stories create characters for readers or viewers to interact with, fall in love or follow. They create communities and a lifestyle and even dictate trends; in other words, fictional characters were the first virtual influencers.

    Who are these new virtual influencers 

    Lil Miquela describes herself as a “19-year-old robot living in Los Angeles with 3 million followers.” Her publications reach more than 60 thousand likes. Among the brands that have decided to collaborate with her are MINI Cooper, Givenchy, Spotify, and Samsung. She has created a large community with whom she even shares parts of her life that have led her to existential crises. 

    Ronald F. Blawko, known as Blawko, is a self-proclaimed low-life who ident

    ifies as a robot man. He spends his time with his other virtual friends on IG or venting on Youtube to his subscribers.  

    Blawko has worked with brands such as Aliexpress. 

    KnoxFrost, another male virtual influencer with more than 600.000 followers on IG, has partnered with global organizations from the World Health Organization to Rock the Vote. Knox has also appeared in various media: Forbes, Business Insider, AdAge, Fortune, Adweek, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Dazed, Betches and CNN. 

    Mar.ia is the first Mexican virtual influencer. Her main focus is to raise awareness about different issues the world faces, such as climate change and other human issues such as gender equality.

    Shudu is a digital supermodel in her mid-to-late 20s from South Africa. Shudu advocates for the virtual human race; having worked with Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Balmain, and Smart Car, Shudu spends her time posing in premier, mystical shoot locations to display eye-popping fashion pieces. 

    What are the pros 

    The planned and implemented strategy behind each post or story of the virtual influencer encourages brands to work with virtual influencers as alongside being cheaper to work with, they also reduce the risks of working with a human influencer. The team behind each virtual influencer decides what the avatar should look like, what it publishes, its principles and values, and what brands they work with.

    Virtual Influencers could be less controversial than human influencers; these avatars are less likely to receive negative comments, similarly for brands that use these influencers.  We live in a cancel culture; anything an influencer says or does can have huge and lasting effects on an influential figure’s public perception. Working with an influencer who aligns to the brand values is monumental.

    The virtual influencer content is highly customizable; there are endless possibilities for creative and seamless product integration. There is nowhere a virtual influencer cannot go and nothing they cannot do.

    Carlos Mendiola, associate director of the Department of Media and Digital Culture at Tec de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe, states that it may be irrelevant for brands if the influencer is an avatar. Brands are looking for someone who can engage with an audience and raise awareness about their products. 

    Should brands create their virtual influencers?

    Brands should be asking themselves whether they should start thinking about creating their avatar. This virtual character can represent them on social media and build a community like any other influencer. 

    Today we can see quite a few brands that have already created a character in their likeness, a virtual influencer who shares all their values and aesthetics and intends to create a community. 

    KFC’s fast-food brand transformed the iconic Colonel Sanders into a virtual avatar and used him for several campaigns as the new image. Like any other model, the new Coronel performs and acts within the brand’s values and creates a stronger bond with the KFC community.  

    In South Asia, the fashion brand Puma launched a new campaign for their Puma Future Rider sneaker and created a virtual influencer for the campaign named Maya. Designed by UM Studio and Ensemble Worldwide, Maya’s personality evolves as her interests are built according to her interactions on social media, thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

    Prada is another perfect example of how creating your brand virtual influencer can help you control what they say, how they say it and where. Prada created their first virtual influencer named Candy to represent Prada’s aesthetic and values through their campaigns, building a stronger connection with their audience. 

    These brands are an example of how the future is within the virtual world; future generations, such as Gen Zs, believe in these new adaptations and feel comfortable creating a community around these virtual avatars. 

    Virtual reality is the new reality.