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Dec 15, 2023
(Updated on
Dec 15, 2023
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This Woman Is Spain’s Hottest Model Making $11,000 A Month—And She Is AI-Generated

As we step into 2024, a groundbreaking shift is taking place—the emergence of AI-generated influencers. These virtual entities, powered by advanced artificial intelligence, are poised to redefine the landscape of influencer marketing. Among the digital avatars capturing attention, a pink-haired 25-year-old Spanish model has emerged as a virtual sensation. With over 250,000 Instagram followers and a monthly earning potential of $10,000+, she has become a fascinating case study in the evolving landscape of influencer marketing. Meet Aitana Lopez. She's an influencer who loves gaming, exercise and cosplay. She's also a bot.

Credit: Instagram - The Clueless

Aitana's Instagram account has amassed nearly 250,000 followers

Aitana was born from the challenges that an influencer agency faced while working with them.  Rubén Cruz, the agency's founder, articulated the motive behind Aitana's creation in an interview with Euronews, stating, "We did it so that we could make a better living and not be dependent on other people who have egos, who have manias, or who just want to make a lot of money by posing." Aitana emerged as a solution to the unpredictabilities and uncertainties tied to human influencers. Rubén Cruz emphasized that Aitana is more than a mere assembly of algorithms; she is a meticulously curated persona designed to resonate with online audiences. "We created her based on what society likes most. We thought about the tastes, hobbies, and niches that have been trending in recent years," Cruz explained. Aitana López is not a generic digital creation; she is a manifestation of careful planning and thoughtful design. The Clueless team invested considerable effort in giving Aitana a distinct personality that aligns with societal preferences. Each aspect of Aitana's persona is a deliberate choice, from her pink hair, which draws inspiration from video game culture, to her occasionally expressionless demeanour, which conveys complexity.

The Clueless team meticulously schedules Aitana's activities, plans her weekly routine, and selects destinations for her virtual travels. Aitana's images, created using software like Photoshop, seek to blur the line between the real and the virtual, providing a relatable connection with her audience. Since her debut on Instagram in the summer of the previous year, Aitana López has rapidly amassed a substantial following. With over 250,000 followers, she has become a sought-after virtual influencer, securing brand deals and collaborations. The Clueless team has been inundated with requests from brands looking to leverage the popularity of AI-generated models for their campaigns.

Credit: Instagram, The Clueless

The AI model also sells racy images on a platform similar to OnlyFans

Aitana's success extends beyond Instagram, with a presence on creator platforms where fans can pay for private content and interact with their favourite influencers. The growing engagement on such platforms underscores the versatility and potential monetization avenues for AI-generated influencers. Interestingly, Aitana's popularity has reached unexpected heights, with a well-known Latin American actor expressing interest in her. The actor, with millions of followers, reportedly texted Aitana for a date, unaware that she was a virtual creation. This incident underscores the blurred lines between reality and the digital realm in the age of AI influencers.

The concept of AI-generated influencers stems from the fusion of technology and creativity. With the advent of sophisticated AI algorithms, developers have been able to create virtual personas that possess striking realism and relatability. These digital entities are not confined by the limitations of the physical world, allowing them to merge boundaries and connect with diverse audiences. Here are a few examples of the advantages associated with AI-generated influencers.

1. Impeccable Personalization:

AI-generated influencers are designed to analyze vast amounts of data to understand user preferences, behaviours, and trends. This enables them to curate content with unparalleled precision, tailoring it to the unique interests of each follower. As a result, audiences feel a deeper sense of connection with these influencers, fostering stronger and more authentic engagements.

2. 24/7 Availability and Consistency:

Unlike human influencers, who need breaks and downtime, AI-generated influencers operate 24/7. This constant availability ensures a consistent flow of content, keeping followers engaged and entertained at all times. The reliability and predictability of AI-generated influencers contribute to the building of a dependable and loyal audience base.

3. Adaptability to Trends:

AI algorithms are adept at recognizing emerging trends and adapting content accordingly. This agility allows AI-generated influencers to stay at the forefront of popular culture, consistently delivering content that resonates with the zeitgeist. Brands can leverage this quality to align their products or services with the latest trends, enhancing their relevance in the market.

4. Cost-Effectiveness:

Traditional influencer collaborations often come with hefty price tags, as popular human influencers command substantial fees for their endorsements. AI-generated influencers offer a cost-effective alternative, allowing brands to engage in influencer marketing without breaking the bank. This democratization of influencer marketing opens up new opportunities for smaller businesses and startups to harness the power of social media.

5. Reduced Risks and Controversies:

Human influencers are prone to controversies and public relations issues that can negatively impact a brand's image. AI-generated influencers, being devoid of personal lives and controversies, present a safer option for brands seeking to avoid repetitional risks. The controlled nature of these virtual influencers allows brands to maintain a carefully curated image without the unpredictability associated with human influencers.

6. Global Appeal and Cultural Sensitivity:

AI-generated influencers can be programmed to understand and respect diverse cultural nuances, making them suitable for global marketing campaigns. This eliminates the risk of unintentional cultural insensitivity that human influencers might inadvertently display. Brands can reach a wider and more diverse audience without the fear of misinterpretation or backlash.

While Aitana López has garnered significant attention as Spain's first AI-generated influencer, it's important to note that she is not the pioneer in this space. Lil Miquela, an earlier creation by the company Brud, has been a prominent figure in the realm of virtual influencers for quite some time. Lil Miquela, introduced as a 19-year-old digital character, boasts a substantial following with millions of followers on platforms like Instagram. What sets Lil Miquela apart is not only her digital existence but also her success in securing brand deals and collaborations with major companies. Her unique blend of artificial intelligence and carefully crafted authenticity has allowed her to navigate the world of influencer marketing, challenging traditional notions of celebrity and redefining the boundaries between reality and the digital realm. Aitana's emergence is part of a broader trend where AI-generated influencers are gaining traction, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Lil Miquela.

Credit: Instagram lilmiquela

Lil Miquela was one of the first major AI influencers

Aitana's success holds broader implications for the influencer marketing landscape. Will Monange, a creator of a popular private content sharing platform, revealed that AI creators contributed significantly to their revenue, accounting for 15% in the previous month alone. This upward trend in the financial success of AI-generated influencers suggests a growing interest in and acceptance of virtual personalities in the digital landscape. AI-generated influencers like Aitana present a cost-effective alternative for brands, allowing them to tap into the world of influencer marketing without the challenges associated with human influencers. 

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

Source: Advertisement from Calvin Klein

Lil Miquela once worked with supermodel Bella Hadid

While the potential benefits of AI-generated influencers are substantial, it is crucial to address the challenges and ethical considerations associated with this emerging trend.

1. Transparency and Authenticity: Maintaining transparency is paramount in influencer marketing. Audiences appreciate authenticity, and the use of AI-generated influencers raises questions about the genuineness of online interactions. Striking a balance between technological advancement and transparency is crucial to building and maintaining trust with consumers.

2. Job Displacement: The widespread adoption of AI-generated influencers may lead to concerns about job displacement within the influencer industry. As brands turn to virtual entities, human influencers could face increased competition for endorsement deals, potentially limiting opportunities for those who have built their careers in the field.

3. Ethical Use of Data: AI-generated influencers rely on data analysis to tailor content to individual preferences. The responsible and ethical use of this data is paramount to ensuring user privacy and preventing any misuse that may lead to breaches or controversies.

The rise of AI influencers, including Aitana López, has not been without its share of controversies and concerns. Critics argue that these virtual beauties perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards, potentially contributing to body image issues, especially among younger audiences who might compare themselves to digitally enhanced perfection. The agency defends its approach, stating that Aitana's aesthetic aligns with existing trends in influencer culture and branding. The agency contends that any shift in the visual landscape would require a broader transformation in brand visions, as the current visual landscape already features a certain level of sexualization. Moreover, concerns have been raised about the potential impact of AI influencers on diversity and representation. Some fear that AI models could replace real diversity, providing a convenient solution for brands to simulate inclusivity without addressing deeper issues related to representation in the media.

Image: @shudu.gram

Digitally created influencers Dagny and Shudu

As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, the landscape of influencer marketing is poised for a transformative shift. While we currently witness the rise of AI-generated influencers like Aitana López, it's on the horizon that we may soon experience a surge in the prevalence of AI models taking centre stage in video advertisements on popular social media platforms. The seamless integration of AI technology allows for the creation of virtual influencers and models that not only captivate audiences with static images but are also capable of dynamic and engaging video content. As the boundaries between the real and the artificial blur, it's conceivable that these AI-generated personalities will soon be delivering our ads in video form on trendy social media apps, offering a glimpse into the future of influencer marketing where the lines between human and AI influencers become increasingly indistinguishable.

As Aitana López continues to amass followers and secure brand deals, the future of influencer marketing is at a crossroads. The success of AI-generated influencers raises questions about authenticity, representation, and the impact on human influencers. While some applaud the innovation and cost-effectiveness that AI models bring to the industry, others remain skeptical about the potential downsides, including ethical concerns and the impact on societal perceptions of beauty and diversity. As technology continues to advance, the line between virtual and real influencers may blur further. Only time will tell whether Aitana López and her AI counterparts will become the new normal in the ever-evolving landscape of social media and influencer culture.

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