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Parasocial Relationships in CGI Influencer Marketing

Thompson, Jamie



Computer Generated Image (CGI) influencers have received no academic attention to-date. These influencers are developed by third parties such as who generate the images of robotic-influencers in a variety of contextual situations. CGI influencer lilmiqeula has over 3.1 million followers as of December 2021 – reaching the status of macroinfluencer despite lacking a physical body and her content being produced by a team of CGI developers. CGI models have been successful because of the digital story-worlds they create surrounding their lifelike characters (Hsu, 2019). For marketing purposes their photoshoots are free from the restrictions of travel, they do not have to lockdown for Covid, nor are they likely to risk the reputation of their partnered brand through scandal (Campbell & Farrell, 2020). This conceptual paper proposes an investigation to study followers’ parasocial relationships with CGI influencers. Parasocial relationships are one-way illusionary relationships people form with celebrities in the media (Breves et al., 2021; Reinikainen et al., 2020). These bonds are valuable to marketers as parasocial relationships can increase the influencer’s power over followers; followers are more likely to align their attitudes to that of the influencer; and such relationships positively influence followers’ behavioural intentions (Aw & Chuah, 2021; Breves et al., 2021; Sánchez-Fernández & Jiménez-Castillo, 2021).

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name 2022 Academy of Marketing Conference
Start Date Jul 5, 2022
End Date Jul 7, 2022
Acceptance Date Apr 4, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2022
Publication Date Jul 7, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 8, 2022
Book Title 2022 Academy of Marketing Conference
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