Why is Marketing Via Personalized Avatars So Successful?
Updated: Jan 28
The landscape of marketing is ever-evolving and immensely creative. Marketing has always been about consumers. The evolution in the digital space allows you to be a little more specific when it comes to reaching out to the ideal consumer. In the digital world, marketing allows brands to involve consumers' life in a more personal way.
The paradigm of Marketing is shifting from mainstream media and print media to digital media. Digital marketing has a variety of branches. You have social media marketing, google advertisement, website advertisement, youtube video advertisement, and so much more.
Add to it Conversation Media Marketing, a trend that has been there for a couple of years but is still an untapped market with huge potential. [Click Here To Read About Conversation Media Marketing].
Conversation Media Marketing takes brands away from the conventional broadcasting style of marketing which is used in mainstream media, print media, and even social media. It brings us to the oldest trick in marketing - The Word Of Mouth. Or as we now like to call it Consumer To Consumer Marketing.
Brands have been using it in various ways including GIFs, Stickers, Memes, and Avatars. All these are extremely personalized ways of raising brand awareness. But the most personalized way for Brand Marketing out of these is Avatar Marketing.
Avatars, as you might know if you are not living under a rock, are virtual identities that people make for themselves on various platforms. From your Snapchat Bitmoji to the Virtual Character you make while playing games like PubG they are all avatars.
Following the steps of Snapchat, Apple came up with Memoji. Just a few months back Facebook also launched Facebook Avatar feature.
One of the reasons that all the tech giants are participating, exploring, and expanding on avatars is because they get the potential it has.
The popularity of avatars says a great deal about the human psyche. These personalized avatars in communication help people express emotions online with much more detail than plain old texting. People actually see these avatars as their virtual identities. A person’s avatars say a lot about who they are and also who they aspire to be.
You might love leopard print but won’t feel comfortable wearing it because you think what will people perceive of you. But you might express that part of yourself by dressing your avatar in leopard print.
This year has especially made us realize why we should be grateful for evolution in technology. In the year 2020 as the pandemic led to social distancing and work from home norms, it was seen that AI-generated avatars were seen as digital influencers.
Pink haired Imma became quite a popular figure on Tik-Tok and has gained 332k+ followers on Instagram. And she doesn’t even exist!! She is the world's first computer-generated model.
This is the power Avatars hold in this digitally connected world.
There are a couple of ways avatars are used for Marketing
They can be used for broadcasting like Imma, they can become a part of user conversations, or in a few cases, they do both.
Avatars For Fashion Brands.
Many fashion brands have used avatars for marketing purposes.
Gucci collaborated with Genies. Since 2018 Gucci has made 200 outfits that users on Genies can use to dress up their avatars. This is an example of how brands are getting into user conversations using Avatars.
Avatars In Gaming
Kim Kardashian Hollywood, an online game, launched in 2014. The game since its inception has collaborated with famous brands like Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli and more. Players can win or buy virtual merchandise and use them in the game. Karl Lagerfeld was successful in driving traffic to their real-life launch with the help of this collaboration.
Another Mix of Fashion, Gaming and Marketing is the popular collaboration of Louis Vuitton and online game League of Legends. Louis Vuitton released its capsule collection in real-life and as skins for players avatars in the popular online game. So even though in real life that Louis Vuitton Jacket would cost you hundreds of dollars your avatar can get nearly $10.
There are other brands like 100 Thieves, Supreme, And Adidas who have gone for a similar approach.
But is it just fashion brands who can drum up brand awareness using Avatars…..
Avatars In Food Brands
Mcdonalds actually used avatar-based game branding in 2002. It collaborated with The SIMs. The game had real-life prizes for players.
But Let’s have a look at more recent campaigns.
Wendy’s used Fortnite’s food fight game mode. Wendy’s promoted a “fresh, never frozen beef” campaign with “Save Fortnite From Frozen Beef”. Although the game’s objective is to destroy other players. Wendy’s team started destroying freezers of the virtual burger restaurant stressing on the motto of their campaign.
A campaign local to India is the very recent Sunfeast Yippee Noodles. Sunfeast Yippee Noodles teamed up with Bobble AI and created a bunch of fun Stickers and GIFs packs that users can share with ease. Unlike most other campaigns using a keyboard, the app allows users to share these stickers on any online platform they use.
As very rightly said by David Beebe "We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in".
The potential for avatars in marketing is as much as the creativity of your brand and campaign wants it to be. The use of avatars will also become even easier in future. So no matter what type of market it is retail, art, beauty, automotive, banking and finance, travel, work, healthcare, or insurance Avatar marketing can be used for anything.
Facing the Changing Tides
The world is moving forward and marketing has always kept up with the changing times. But the traditional marketing techniques and their users can be a little sceptical about new changes like avatar marketing.
Agreeing that 0.99$ was a great idea of traditional marketing but to use it in today’s world you have to use new tools. The same goes for any other marketing technique.
GenZies and Millenials are often criticised for their attachment to technology and everything that it embraces but they are the future consumers. It is a fact that technology has changed human norms and affected almost all aspects of our lives.
The brands who do not keep up with the times will not be able to deliver true consumer engagement. Ignorance combined with arrogance can lead to irrelevance (the nightmare for any Marketer or brand).
What makes Avatar Marketing or any type of Conversation Media Marketing so effective is its use by consumers as a form of self-expression. If they can relate they will be interested and they will buy.