Virtual influencer Lil Miquela has signed with talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) as its first virtual client, according to Variety. CAA said it will work with Miquela in brand strategy and commercial endorsements as well as TV and film.
The 19-year-old Gen Z CGI influencer was founded in 2016 by Brud, a Los Angeles-based agency. Today, she has over 2 million Instagram followers and has scored brand partnerships with the likes of Prada and Calvin Klien.
Commenting on the deal, CAA executive Adam Friedman said: “Over the last few years, we’ve watched the team at Brud create a true multi-hyphenate in Miquela. We are excited to jump in and help her navigate the world of television and film, and also see a unique opportunity for innovative, forward-thinking brands to align with a culturally relevant, icon-in-the-making.”
The deal comes at a time when influencer photoshoots are cancelled, traditional media channels become less relevant, and the industry is having to rethink its advertising strategies. Could CGI influencers solve some of these challenges brands face by providing a solution? Especially as these brand ambassadors can work all the time and be available whenever a company needs them.
“This is one of those moments where, in five years people will say, ‘why wouldn’t a virtual influencer have representation?’ Business is always about utility. Miquela fills a role for a demographic and CAA is a gatekeeper that sifts and negotiates deals on her behalf – it’s that simple. These relationships and virtual influencer deals will continue to grow and grow,” said Dudley Nevill-Spencer, director and head of data analysis at Virtual Influencer Agency.
Although virtual influencers are not a new trend, their appearances are becoming more frequent. We’ve seen the World Health Organization (WHO) partner with Knox Frost to help distribute accurate information about COVID-19 to Gen Z and so it will be interesting to see how brands collaborate with virtual influencers in the near future as we look to navigate our way through the pandemic.