Virtual personalities: Avatars as Influencers
A search for meaning and sustainable action shape the lifestyle and media consumption and purchasing behavior of Generation Z. Cosmiq Universe recognized this trend early on and wants to fulfill the need for access to spiritual and world awareness content in new formats and new media.
Cosmiq Universe, a transmedia company founded by Annika Kessel and Bruno Stettler, brings virtual characters to life: Avatars inspire people on social media and can also interact with the real world. The avatars' value-laden messages are aimed at Instagram communities and are intended to reach millions of like-minded people. According to the company, more and more brands are turning to this new form of awareness campaigns. It is noticeable that avatars are not only highly accepted by young consumers.
Cosmiq Universe's transmedia artists create modern "Virtual Beings" to share messages of love, nature connection and self-awareness on social media. Leya Love, Cosmiq Universe's first avatar, represents the new awareness zeitgeist. Her mission as an ambassador of the world awareness movement #WAM is to engage with herself and the universe and spread love through Netflix-like content on social media. Built on new avatar 3D technologies as well as a game engine including first AR apps on Instagram, Cosmiq says she embodies a new technology-based virtual character generation that aims to reflect changing social values in a creative and imaginative way.
Leya Love interacts with the real world as a speaker at global conferences for "oneness" and nature, advocating to be one with the environment and the universe through her stories and images. She already has 260,000 followers on Instagram.
Modern Consumer Spirituality" Metatrend
"In the past, only companies like Pixar or Disney could create virtual characters that touched people deeply," explains Cosmiq Universe founder Annika Kessel. Today, she says, the young transmedia company is helping to shape social media as a first mover in the subject area of modern spirituality. Namely, Leya Love connects the narrative of the value-oriented generation with its external needs. "As digital ambassadors, our avatars bring brands closer to communities with the same values," Kessel explains. "More and more brands are recognizing the growing consumer need for awareness and are focusing on emotional branding. We partner with these brands to launch values-based awareness campaigns." Content subscription, digital products and avatar licensing, and digital art are also part of the business model.
Virtual beings with a future
Virtual influencers were already internationally successful before Corona as fashion models, artists, environmental and political activists. With the lockdown, their advantages over "real" influencers have come to bear even more effectively: "Avatars can dissolve boundaries, connect real worlds with fantasy and dreams. As virtual beings, they don't hinder quarantine regulations or travel barriers," explains Bruno Stettler, Co-Founder of Cosmiq Universe. "They can be in multiple places at once without straining the ecological footprint. Their content consists of textual and visual content and channels that go viral like a Netflix series. For Generation Z, Instagram and Tiktok are the new television."
How successful an avatar is is measured by its community interaction rate as well as follower growth, reach, and virality. According to a report by HypeAuditors, engagement with virtual ambassadors is almost three times higher than with real flesh-and-blood influencers. These are metrics that potential brands are also interested in when evaluating marketing partnerships to spread their values.
Influencer marketing is the fastest growing form of digital marketing. Value-laden campaigns around the theme of "we care" were already very popular with brands with a purpose before Corona. This trend has been fueled once again with the digitalization boost currently underway. "We are being forced to engage with the essence of our lives and our personal and professional set-up. This is creating a consumer movement that doesn't just want to consume, but wants to do something meaningful and fulfilling. Millennials in particular, as well as Gen Z, are looking for meaning and values when making consumption decisions," explains Annika Kessel.
Avatars draw the future of the low touch economy
Avatars appeal to digital natives on modern channels such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify with modern content that matches their zeitgeist and attitude to life. These channels mark the preferred meeting places in the low touch economy. "In the future, we will continue to spend more time at home in front of a screen, making appointments via video conferencing, making purchases online. Our lives are becoming more digital. Thus, virtual and physical reality are increasingly merging," says Annika Kessel. In these new spaces of experience, avatars would embody emotional door openers and represent a platform for entertainment.
Next avatar in the works
A new Cosmiq Universe avatar is soon to follow. The fantasy being Aya Stellar flies towards Earth in her spaceship Merkaba and lands on February 22, 2022 to bring the secret of life back to Earth. "Aya Stellar represents the awakening of the planet and humanity, a new world and new life forms. Four weeks after launch, her follower count is already at 3,400 - and hundreds are added every day from all over the world," Annika Kessel is pleased about the latest virtual family member.
The Transmedia Company Cosmiq Universe specializes in the creation of virtual avatars, theme ambassadors and community swarm intelligence. According to Cosmiq, more and more companies are using avatars in brand partnerships and for themed campaigns. Cosmiq Universe's avatars are committed to planet Earth, awareness and spreading inspiration, love and compassion through their messages.
Annika Kessel and Bruno Stettler, the two co-founders of Cosmiq Universe, create creative and imaginative virtual themed worlds and characters with their international teams for visual CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) technology, motion capturing and 3D gaming. Their 3D content is tailored to the needs of young consumers. Annika Kessel is CEO at Cosmiq Universe and leads strategy, growth marketing, sales and fundraising. Bruno Stettler is Creative and Innovation Director and responsible for avatar technology, product development, creative conception and storytelling.