Social media, as we all know, isn’t all that real. Photos are cropped, edited, and distorted all the time. But that’s kind of how things work these days and it’s not just on social media. Back in 2014, it was revealed that about 75% of Ikea’s catalogues were made up of computer generated images. It’s simply a lot faster to do that than stage a bunch of spaces for photoshoots. Fast forward six years and Ikea is now taking it a step further by integrating “digital influencers” into their ads. Here’s what that looks like:
This particular campaign was done to promote a new store in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. And it features a popular digital influencer known as Imma. This is my first foray into the world of digital influencers, but Imma is apparently popular enough to have some 265,000 followers on Instagram. What I have just learned is that a real human is first photographed and filmed for all of this content. Imma’s digital head is then transplanted onto said content. That’s how these digital influencers are created.
It all feels very Japanese to me. It also feels a bit like the starting premise of a great Black Mirror episode. But on the other hand, is it really all that different from the highly doctored content that already graces the internet?