"It's not dry, it's a gentle coral tone, with a touch of strawberry."
This is a lipstick promotion, from the national style virtual idol Ling Ling. Do you feel novel, or do you feel fooled?
Obviously, Ling Ling did not really test the color, and the rendering effect is completely virtual. It is impossible to draw the conclusion of "nothing but not dry" with any reason, let alone more professional evaluations such as texture and staying power. In Xiaohongshu, there are much more careful notes than this.
▲ Ling Ling's lipstick promotion.
Virtual idols are no longer new. With the development of technologies such as VR, CG, AI, and holographic projection, virtual internet celebrities, virtual models, simulation avatars of celebrities, and virtual brand spokespersons emerge in endlessly.
However, at the same time that the Dimensional Wall was broken, the beautiful vision of the virtual idol "never collapse the house" is not as easy to realize as imagined.
When a virtual idol becomes a tool for goods
Two days after the controversy arose, the virtual idol Ling Ling's promotional copy of the lipstick was deleted, and the photos remained.
In addition to unscrupulous copywriting, the team behind Ling Ling has many improprieties.
Ling's character setting is very Chinese. He likes Peking opera, calligraphy and Tai Chi, and his voice is also collected from the third generation of Peking Opera Mei School. But her first promotion was Gucci, which did not show Chinese style.
Ling Ling once participated in the CCTV variety show "Hua Cai Youth", performing an excerpt from Peking Opera "The Heavenly Girl Scattering Flowers", but only this time, there has been no Chinese style performance since then. The most updated is Weibo and Xiaohongshu "Song Yue Jing" "Good" style portraits are mixed with information about collaborations with brands such as keep and vogue magazines. Most of the attention on Weibo is also for business cooperation.
All this shows that the team behind her is eager to realize and act too hastily. Virtual idols can certainly play a role in monetizing traffic and content, but if their behavior is not in line with the personality, they cannot subtly convey the brand concept in user interaction and communication. It is likely to greatly reduce their communication value, or even play a role. To negative effects.
In contrast, there are already many virtual idols with high commercial value on foreign social media, such as Lil Miquela in the United States, imma in Japan, noonoouri in Europe, and black model shudu.
▲ Lil Miquela.
Lil Miquela looks like a real person and is valued at more than 125 million US dollars. She uses pictures to show her daily life on social media. At the same time, she regularly releases her singles MV, shoots short videos, interacts with live celebrities in the same frame, and is commercialized. Rich and varied. She will also express her opinions on popular issues and even post an announcement to break up with her boyfriend. In addition to not being able to come to reality, she is more real than real people on social networks.
Noonoouri is different from Lil Miquela in that she is closer to 3D animation characters, mainly working with high-end fashion brand endorsements, "sharing afternoon tea" with the editor of the French edition of Vogue, and accepting a first-person interview with Figaro magazine. Her design team emphasized that Noonoouri is more like a non-real fantasy existence, without the need for people to take on the role.
▲ Noonoouri and Yi Yang Qianxi shoot the magazine.
One of the two is closer to the real person, and the other is deliberately alienated from the real person, but both succeeded. It suffices to say that whether it looks like a real person is not the key issue of virtual idols. The key lies in whether there is a story and whether there is personality.
At this level, virtual two-dimensional idols based on IP such as animation and novels often have more space, because stories, personalities and fans are born.
As the male protagonist of the online game novel "Full-time Master" that accompanies a generation of youth through the entire youth, Ye Xiu's status is absolutely "national", and his ability to carry goods has surpassed many three-dimensional stars. In 2019, Ye Xiu Xiujiu has signed endorsement cooperation with 9 well-known brands, spanning food, fast-moving consumer goods, finance and other fields. Almost every month, more than one new brand cooperation will be added.
▲ Ye Xiu speaks for McDonald's.
And those virtual idols whose mission is brand endorsement have no particularly significant effects. For example, KFC’s colonel, L’Oreal’s M sister, Watson’s Qu Chenxi, and Hua Xizi’s avatar "Hua Xizi". They are called idols, but they are just a means of propaganda and a traffic portal.
Therefore, the development of virtual idols needs to be "slow and slow." Avoid mass production of fuzzy and fast-realizing tool people.
Will virtual idols be an advanced version of real idols?
Real-life idols are often regarded as a career selling dreams. Strength, hard work, and personality may all be sources of popularity, allowing fans to bet their emotions on them.
Inevitably, the human-made part of real idols, the image they present to the audience is not completely real, but is selectively presented to the audience through screening. Virtual idols are also meticulously planned and created works that combine beauty, technology and humanity.
But at least, virtual idols can keep fans' emotions from betting. They are stable, standardized, and flawless, and they can be updated and iterated at any time. Therefore, virtual idols may also become an advanced version of real idols.
The description of the game idol by Gui Mu Guima, the protagonist of "The World Only God Knows" applies here:
▲ Gui Mu Gui Ma.
"Idols that never deteriorate are what we are after. But idols in reality will deteriorate anyway… The progress of game idols is almost non-stop. Starting from the bitmap, the voice is added, and the color changes. There are more, and eventually it can be bred. With the development of the equipment, the story and the plot have been enriched. The addition of settings is beyond the reach of reality. During this period, has there been any evolution of real idols? Nothing. change."
But like many immature virtual idols in China, they just borrowed the "virtual" bonus, and it does not reflect the word "idol".
For example, in the iQIYI variety show "Cross-Dimensional Rising Stars", all players are formed through 3D modeling. The image of the players presented in the show is very different from the posters. The difference in refinement, the players will know that it is a large-scale cheating scene when they appear." This kind of effect made by "studying three years of animation" inevitably makes people think that this show is just to collect money.
▲ Comparison of the original painting and modeling of “Cross-Dimensional New Stars''.
The premise that the "virtual" of a virtual idol can become an advantage is that it can present the same beautiful place as a real idol, and at the same time avoid the inevitable risks of being human. Because people's likes are based on "human nature", we don't like the "virtual" technology, but we like "virtual" to continue and preserve the good things.
Strictly speaking, virtual singers such as Hatsune Miku and Luo Tianyi are essentially a sound library, and the two-dimensional image is an accessory, which is different from the virtual idols mainly dubbed by real people. But they did show what an idol should be.
▲ Hatsune Miku.
Virtual singers are often provided by the official sound library, initial image and basic persona, and follow-ups mainly rely on continuous supplements by producers. Preferences, voice lines, personalities, etc. can all be created twice, which gives the virtual singers a steady stream of vitality. For example, the song "Ode to a Thousand Years Recipe" produced by fans with Luo Tianyi's music library gave Luo Tianyi the attribute of "food-eating".
▲ "An Ode to a Millennium Recipe".
As the B station @HSINGBOBO Xiong Admiral said, Hatsune Miku is an idol image that can only be born in a "decentralized" environment. The success of Hatsune Miku is the result of countless dead houses using the tuner of Vocaloid (a kind of electronic music production speech synthesis software) and MMD (a program for making 3D animation) software. This is the power of fan creation, and it is also unimaginable by traditional idols.
Compared with the traditional idol economy "idol-pay-fans", which has a consumption-centric structure, virtual singers have an additional part of "content production", and fans can participate in the creation and development of virtual images in real time, thereby enhancing it. The emotional belonging and collective identity of virtual idols, and even create their own music works with the help of platforms and technologies.
▲ The Luo Tianyi family.
Although the virtual singer's circle is niche, its boundaries are open. While ensuring the quality of PGC (Professional Production Content) content, it also opens up certain UGC (User Original Content) permissions.
This shows that virtual idols also need to invest in more works and operations, such as technology improvement, online and offline concert planning, development of derivative industry chains, and collaboration among multiple industries to enable audiences to have communication and secondary creation. Desire, not just a small fight for the purpose of collecting money.
When the boundary between real and virtual is gradually blurred, if virtual idols are to succeed, it is nothing more than to consider the compatibility of the two words "virtual" and "idol". Behind virtual idols is a human-oriented team. How the team understands human nature, technology and beauty determines what we can see from virtual idols and how far they can go in culture and business.
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