A fresh approach to the business of influencing comes from the gaming world in China, where the lines between what’s real and what’s virtual are becoming ever-more blurred – step forward Nuan Nuan, once a popular female character created by Chinese gaming company Papergames.

These days Nuan Nuan doesn’t do games anymore. Instead, the virtual character is a singer, a stylist, a fashion ambassador and a celebrity who wants to help the public. To her legions of young fans, she’s known as their “daughter”. And she’s very happy to work with brands.

  • In September 2019 Nuan Nuan had her first endorsement assignment, working with personal care brand Lux. Her followers loved it.
  • Six months later, Nuan Nuan partnered with clothing brand Urban Revivo; after this Nuan Nuan became a regular in many fashion magazines.
  • For thousands of followers the fact that Nuan Nuan is not real makes no difference to the influence and presence she has in their lives – they follow her social media channels as she updates all aspect of her virtual life.

Key takeaway

Virtual influencers are not limited to gaming companies, of course – Chinese cosmetics brand Perfect Diary has created a popular character called “wanzi” who fans can interact with in WeChat groups. The beauty of virtual IP is that, not only does it appeal to young consumers, but there are also none of the risks that might be associated with a human influencer.

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Sourced from China Marketing Insights