Branding Trends 2020: # 2 – Digital Avatars

An old strategy used by companies to consolidate their image is to rely on charismatic figures, such as mascots or personalities that relate to the brand’s audience. And, although being old, it is still widely used and achieves good results. But in a world where everything is changing with technology, this strategy has also been

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An old strategy used by companies to consolidate their image is to rely on charismatic figures, such as mascots or personalities that relate to the brand’s audience. And, although being old, it is still widely used and achieves good results. But in a world where everything is changing with technology, this strategy has also been reinvented. Thus, digital avatars emerged, which are already revolutionizing the business world. To find out how this is happening, keep reading this article!

Digital avatars: what are they and how did they come about?

It all started with the invention of artificial intelligence, which, right from the start, impacted people’s daily lives and the performance of brands, either by reducing bureaucracy through chatbots, or by being part of the consumers’ routine with voice assistants. Thus, this technology gradually gained people’s sympathy. 

And, as this mechanism was consolidated, some brands started to seek a more humanized tone for these robots, including with a hint of humor, such as Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, who takes questions and even risks a funk. Check it out:

Parallel to this, an increasingly participative digital culture was observed, in which influencers gained greater strength and interaction is more intense. So some brands thought of combining the two trends and, thus, digital avatars were developed: fictional characters that use mechanisms such as artificial intelligence to solve problems and win the hearts of consumers.

This is exactly what they did when creating the profile of Miquela, a Brazilian-Spanish robot. She has made several advertisements for brands on her profile (including Prada and Diesel) and acts as a model and singer, entitled to a single that went viral on YouTube and Spotify. She has almost 2 million followers and posts several selfies, videos and photos with real people or other robots, for example, her friend BLAWKO.

In addition, she has already been involved in controversies, such as his rivalry with robot-influencer Bermuda, alleged supporter of US President Donald Trump. Today, the two are friends and post several photos together. In other words, Miquela has a life just like any other influencer and has even had her profile hacked (making news in important vehicles). The only difference is that, in fact, it is not real. But, in the digital universe where everything seems to be assembled, even that has been questioned.

Digital avatars and Brazilian brands

If you think this is a branding trend that will take a long time to arrive in Brazil, you couldn’t be more wrong! Some Brazilian brands, such as Magazine Luiza and Natura, are already heavily investing in this strategy. And with the characters created by these companies, the humanization reaches a very high level and consumers feel much closer to brands.

In practice, Nat – Natura’s digital avatar – provides customer service and publicizes the brand’s products and actions, but also gives advice, participates in tags and challenges, shares her “routine” and also talks.

And Lu from Magalu follows the same path. Her famous Instagram profile is used both for direct marketing purposes and to promote greater interaction with followers. Thus, we can see a feed made up of advertisements and photos of Lu in her “personal life”, such as at Christmas and New Year parties. In addition, she also posts photos with other public figures such as Maísa, Luciano Huck, Ludmilla and Marcelo Adnet.

Another interesting point is the interactions with digital avatars are being so intense that, in some cases, even fan clubs are created for the robots! And the opposite is also true: it is very common to see negative comments and haters in these profiles.

Thus, the fact is that digital avatars have arrived to transform our relationship with digital media and, consequently, the dynamics of brand communication, which should bring a lot of news to consumers in 2020. And, to learn more about this trend of branding and several others that promise to stand out this year, check out the e-book we prepared for you!