CGI influencer Lil Miquela makes her Coachella debut: Animated social media personality with 1.5 million Instagram followers interviews artist J Balvin
- Lil Miquela may be computer generated, but her influence is anything but
- This year, the social media star is interviewing select artists at Coachella
- With 1.5 million Instagram followers, Miquela has exploded in recent years
- The model and host will also interview other artists say Miquela’s creators
Computer-generated model and social media presence Lil Miquela hit Coachella this week, adding music journalism to her list of accolades and continuing the festival’s tradition of blurring the line between technology and the tangible.
In an extended interview at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the computer animated model and social influencer picked the brain of reggateon singer J Balvin about grunge music, language, and more.
‘It’s nice to meet you, finally,’ said Balvin in the interview. ‘I’ve been looking everywhere, but it’s just hard to see you.’
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Computer-generated model and social media presence, Lil Miquela (right), hit Coachella this week, adding music journalism to her list of accolades and continuing the festival’s tradition of blurring the line between technology and the tangible
At this year’s much-anticipated mega festival, headlined by Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, and Tame Impala, Miquela also scored pictures with Spanish singer-songwriter and producer, Rosalia.
With 1.5 million followers on Instagram, Lil Miqeula has become a bonafide social media sensation, interviewing artists and designers, and more recently even releasing her own music with the aid of electronic artists like the Philadelphia-born Baauer.
In recent years, Miquela, the brainchild of Los Angeles-based startup brud and spearheaded by Trevor McFedries, has captivated not only millions of followers on Instagram, but millions of dollars from Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
Last year, TechCrunch reported that Sequoia Capital alone has invested somewhere around $6 million in both Miqeula and brud.
While savvy coding and programming form the backbone of Miquela and her lifelike persona, brud’s success as hoisting the avatar into the successful influencer sphere is due in no small part to even savvier marketing.
Buzz-generating stunts have included an apparent ‘hack’ on Miquela’s Instagram account by another brud-created avatar name Bermuda.
The takeover, which was actually manufactured by brud, involved the Miquela’s account being wiped clean and replaced with semi-threatening messages from the company’s new avatar.
Miquela’s Coachella appearance might be the most recent installation of CGI at the festival, but it’s far from the first.
In 2012, the festival — to some controversy — adorned its stage with a hologram of the late rapper, Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down in 1996 at the height of his career.
Brud’s CGI avatar has excelled as a successful brand liaison and now a music journalist.
The visage’s performance, which came after a set from Tupac’s friends and collaborators Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, was met with a mixture of puzzlement and in some cases uncomfortable stares.
Though Miquela’s appearance at this year’s festival has been far less controversial, the influencer’s presence does mark a milestone for CGI’s role in media and marketing.
According to Brud, Miquela will also interview sing-songwriter, King Princess, and other artists on the festival’s YouTube channel which will be streaming select performances.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR ONLINE INFLUENCER ADVERTISING?
Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) created a document called ‘An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that ads are ads’.
This body represents advertisers, media owners and agencies and it is responsible for writing the Ad Codes.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s advertising regulator and makes sure ads across UK media stick to the advertising guidelines.
Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) can take action against people.
Sixteen celebrities have been picked up for their constant breaching of the rules set out by these government bodies.
When content promotes particular products or services and contains a hyperlink or discount code the poster receives payment for every ‘clickthrough’ or sale from that content.
This, therefore, falls under the category of advertising and must be considered as an ad.
Affiliate links or discount codes may feature for only some of the content, not al lof it.
In this instance the user must make clear that only these sections are an ad, but that should be evident.
If they work with a brand to create some content that will be posted on a user’s channel.
This qualifies as an ad for the brand if the company (1) ‘paid’ them in some way or (2) had some editorial ‘control’.
Freebies are included under this, not just payment. #freebie is suggested as a label to make this clear.
Products, gifts, services, trips, hotel stays etc. given for free are all likely to qualify as ‘a payment’.
#ad or #sponsored are some of the obvious ways the poster should label their content.
It must also be placed prominently at the beginning of the post, rather than buried away among other hashtags.
Influencers used to be able to get away with declaring who they work for in their bio, this will no longer be sufficient and each post should be adequately labelled up.
More than one commercial partnership should also be stated for each post.