Dong Dong, Imma, and the growth of virtual influencers: the news of the digital world

The growth of virtual influencers has been remarkable in the last few years. From Lil Miquela to Magalu, every country already has a well-known virtual influencer. In Asia, this trend is already huge. In this week’s digital news, we bring you two campaigns with two virtual influencers: Dong Dong and Imma.

Alibaba creates virtual influencer for Winter Olympics

Alibaba is taking advantage of the Winter Olympics to showcase how virtual influencers can be used in marketing.

Dong Dong, a friendly Internet personality who became famous on Taobao Live during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games for hosting live streams of herself dancing and sharing sports trivia. Though she may not be real, this influencer has all the attributes of any other celebrity or personality. Dong Dong is a computer-generated human. They are called “virtual idols” in China, and she was created by DAMO Academy, a technology research branch of Alibaba.

Dong Dong can replicate human speech patterns ©Alibaba

According to Alibaba, her name means “winter” in Mandarin and she is a 22-year-old woman who is passionate about winter sports.

Virtual idols, like Dong Dong, are becoming more popular in China. This is because the cost of hiring human influencers is becoming more expensive in the country. In 2019-2020, the size of the virtual idol market in China increased by 70.3% to 3.46 billion yuan (approximately $546 million).

Dong Dong is not Alibaba’s first virtual influencer. The company also created the virtual model Aimee, who has appeared in campaigns for Prada and Miu Miu on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

Lenovo has partnered with virtual influencer Imma for a new campaign in Japan that encourages people to embrace and express their creativity. The campaign, ‘Yoga For All of Us,’ pairs the computer-generated Imma in a brand video alongside human Japanese influencers Ai Momoka, Glay, and Na. 

Yoga For all of us | #Yoga 3D imma

Lenovo focuses on the idea of “normal,” or lifestyles that were once considered to be alternative but are now accepted as mainstream.

Our Yoga line is designed to take into account the diverse needs of our customers, who hail from a range of backgrounds and personalities. Imma, with her larger-than-life style and dauntless attitude, is a perfect partner for us in our quest to celebrate each customer’s uniqueness and spark their creativity.

Xiqiao Liu, chief marketing officer for Japan at Lenovo.

Imma was created in July of 2018 as a virtual influencer. She posts about fashion, décor, and technology. Forbes Women selected her as “Woman of the Year 2020.” She also made an appearance at the Tokyo Paralympics closing ceremony.

Bold Creators Club can help you reach your goals

Dealing with social media influencers is not always easy. Actually, most of the time, companies and influencers can’t communicate clearly, as there is a lack of a cultural, linguistic, and social bridge that connects both.

When it comes to Latin influencers, this communication barrier is even bigger. Not only because a lot of people in countries like Brazil or Colombia don’t English, but also because these countries are highly multicultural, with cities with completely different styles, slang, social and cultural movements within the country. 

In the case of Brazil, this aspect is so strong that there are even completely different cultures within the same city, in big metropolises like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. 

It is really hard to keep up with the constant changes in the pop culture and in the internet world, so contacting an agency whose job is to always be updated about what the influencers are doing, how is the stability in the country, and more important information for your company, is the best strategy.