03.10 2018 07:20h
03.10 2018 07:20h

Introducing Chasing Laila: The Middle East's First Virtual Influencer

She's going to be the next big thing in influencer marketing
by @Laura Andrea Kell

Meet Laila Blue a.k.a. @chasing.laila on Instagram.

She's half-French and half-Lebanese and is based in Dubai. She's an AUD graduate (she studied Motion Graphics) and works as a freelance social media manager for a pop-up art space in Al Quoz. She doesn’t really identify herself as an “influencer”, although many of us would put her in the category.

She appears to be the quintessential twenty-something year old that anyone could run into at SoHo Beach on a Friday - except she isn't.

Laila Blue is the first CGI influencer in the entire Middle East.

View this post on Instagram

Jet lag got me like...

A post shared by Laila Blue (@chasing.laila) on

While she isn't the first "virtual influencer" to hit the internet, she's definitely shaking things up in the region. And as everyone talks about the new girl on the proverbial influencer block, plenty of people are starting to follow Laila on Instagram.

Some people may roll their eyes at her small following of 194 (and counting), but Laila was recently featured on the cover of the latest issue of Grazia Middle East. Quite the accomplishment for someone who didn't exist a month ago.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how the region will accept it's first virtual influencer.  

In 2016, Miquela Sousa was created by British musician Trevor "Yung Skeeter" McFedries and Sara Decou.

The half-Brazilian, half-Spanish 19-year-old virtual influencer and model is not only an Instagram sensation (with 1.2 million followers) but has also gone viral on music-sharing app Spotify, with her debut single “Not Mine.” 

Shudu Gram is also another virtual influencer that is taking social media by storm.

 

According to The Verdict, Shudu was named the world’s first digital supermodel and has promoted Rihanna's Fenty Beauty to her 124k Instagram followers.

While this movement is now getting hype, it is far from revolutionary. Let’s not forget the band Gorillaz (around since 1990s), made up of four animated personas and Marc Jacobs who created costumes for the virtual singer, Hatsune Miku. 

Will this result in a positive or negative impact on influencer marketing within the region? While the concept of virtual social media influencers is intriguing, it definitely blurs the lines between fiction and reality...

Whether you're a fan of virtual influencers or not, be sure to follow Laila on Instagram (@chasing.laila).

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Zain Yahya. Photo credits: Instagram. 

#sorelevant

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