Will virtual idols be more powerful if real people are removed?

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How to please generation Z more "safely"

Source:Zinc scale

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Is "holster" a virtual human?

In recent years, with the popularity of virtual idols / anchors of "real person + virtual image" such as a-soul rising, people pay more and more attention to this issue.

In fact, compared with the obscure concepts of blockchain derivatives, the word "virtual human" is not difficult to understand in the literal sense, but what is its accurate definition? Do you need real person elements? However, the market is unable to come up with a unified answer.

However, the market always pays attention to economic benefits. Even if there is no small dispute, the commercial achievements of virtual idols / anchors of "real person + virtual image" such as a-soul, rainbow society and virtuareal can not be concealed. Therefore, when some industry analysts talk about virtual human topics, they are often happy to use them as cases - after all, if they always use "past idols" such as chuyin future and Luo Tianyi as cases, it will inevitably give people the illusion that the virtual human industry lacks development.

However, although the combination of "real person + virtual image" has indeed gained a lot in generation Z, it does not mean that it is the most perfect form of virtual human economy. In particular, the farce caused by the suspension of the activities of a-soul members has made many enterprises interested in virtual idols / anchors see once again the uncontrollability of real person elements in the project. If the treatment of "people in the middle" is not properly handled, the hottest project will be torn to pieces by angry fans within one day.

Perhaps, for more enterprises, giving up the "real person + virtual image" combination with high operating costs and high risks and turning to the virtual image after removing real people is a more stable way to harvest generation Z?

When we talk about virtual personification, what are we talking about

From the description of some science fiction works, people initially wanted to shape virtual humans into a concept completely separated from real people. They are human imitators, which are "human like" and "non-human". They are driven by AI, that is, artificial intelligence system. All features and behaviors are expressed by programs, which is a complete cyber life.

At first glance, such an advanced concept seems to be a long way from human beings, but in fact, people in the Internet age have caught a glimpse of virtual humans - Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Xiaoai students hidden in your smart speaker or mobile phone.

This fact will certainly surprise many people. After all, most people's first impression of virtual people is that only those plane or 3D virtual images created with digital technology are very different from voice assistants without shape.

Of course, it's not hard to understand. After all, image information will leave a more intuitive and profound impression. Just like talking about the future of the first sound, most netizens will flash the image of an animation beautiful girl with green double ponytail hairstyle in their minds. When they talk about Siri, they can only think of the female voice's answer of "where is it, what's up" or the digital products bound with them, which makes a rigid impression, It is difficult to connect with the word "Idol".

For this reason, the combination of synthetic sound sources and derivative products that do not involve AI technology, such as chuyin future, finally walked in front of "Cyber Life" that can really interact with human beings, such as Siri, and became the representative idol of "virtual human".

In fact, this also reveals the following reality:When people consume virtual people, they actually consume the title of "virtual people" and related cultural and entertainment products such as images, music and videos, rather than those boring technologies and knowledgeใ€‚

With this conclusion, it is not difficult to understand the selling points and popularity of virtual human products in the current market.

At present, the main consumers of virtual idol / anchor are generation Z. as a generation that emphasizes personality and pursues self pleasing, their preferences have long been exposed, which is also well reflected in the emerging product of virtual idol / anchor. When we dismember the virtual idol / anchor, we can clearly see the following "components" - virtual image, character setting, live broadcast activities, peripheral products and secondary creation.

As the "face" of the virtual idol / anchor, the virtual image is the direct embodiment of the aesthetics of generation Z.As a generation influenced by Japanese animation since childhood, generation Z has a deep-rooted preference for Riman style art works. Therefore, the virtual idols also like it. From the first sound future to a-soul, almost all of the most successful and influential virtual people have adopted the image of cute secondary animation beautiful girls, and successfully emptied the wallet of generation Z.

At the same time, generation Z emphasizes personality and is easily attracted by characters with distinctive personality. At the stage when trip love has just made its debut and "leather man" has begun to sprout, people's design is mainly used to enrich the background description of virtual images. However, with the rising status of real actors in virtual idols / anchors, people's design also began to mainly serve "people in the middle". In a sense,Nowadays, the virtual idol / anchor avatar is getting rid of those fantasy and unreal elements and gradually approaching the more familiar KOL, idol and anchor avatar presented and maintained on the Internetใ€‚

In addition, watching live broadcast is an important entertainment for generation Z young people. According to the report, 49% of the audience in the first quarter of 2021 were under 24 years old. This makes the "pimp", whether the anchor or idol, must include the live broadcast into the main activity content, so as to interact with fans more frequently and maintain popularity and attention.

Source: AI media consulting

As a new generation of idols active on the Internet, virtual idols have richer peripheral products than traditional idols. In addition to various physical peripheral products, virtual idols can also sell a variety of digital peripheral products such as virtual costumes, themes, game linked props, digital albums and so on.

Second creation is an important way for Z era to form and maintain the community. Generation Z, who emphasizes personality and self pleasing, is willing to express their love for something through second creation. After these created products are disseminated through the Internet, they can play a good role in publicizing their "original owners" and increase the user stickiness of corresponding groups.

Each of the components described above has a unique attraction to generation Z consumers. When they are combined, they can easily play the effect of "1 + 1 > 2" and conquer generation Z consumers. andThis "Frankenstein" with shocking charm is the real body of the "virtual man" we describe.

Is there really no idol of "never rollover"?

Although various Z generation preferences have been stitched, the domestic virtual idol / anchor started late, the scale is relatively small, and it is still in the stage of development. Originally, with the popularity of a-soul, virtual idol / anchor also received a lot of traffic dividends in 2020 and 2021. Capital and enterprises also pay attention to it as a new opportunity for idol industry.

The whole track should have successfully stepped into a new stage, attracted more capital injection, expanded the industrial scale and improved the overall quality of products. Who would have expected that less than a year after a-soul began to enjoy the fruits of victory, it encountered such a serious operation crisis, and the propaganda slogan of "never rollover" used by the media has become a joke.

In fact, a-soul is not the first virtual idol group to fall into the risk evaluation crisis. Before a-soul, virtual idol societies and companies such as rainbow society, game department, activ8 and virtuareal established by station B and rainbow society have more or less had some dispute cases, and even stumbling love, nicknamed "the first emperor of virtual Idol", was once involved in the vortex.

Since they have overturned so many times, why do the media still use "never overturn" to describe the virtual idol / anchor?

This is actually caused by the misunderstanding of the concept of virtual human in the domestic media.

As mentioned earlier, the concept of virtual human does not include real elements. Whether Siri or chuyin future, consumers can clearly understand that there is no "man in the middle" behind them - at least for most consumers. Since it does not contain real person elements, it naturally has no human rights or desires and will not commit the mistakes that only human beings can commit.

In other words, unless human beings really encounter intellectual and mechanical crisis in the future, such "complete" virtual idols as chuyin future and Luo Tianyi can "never roll over".

Luo Tianyi at bilibilibili world 2021

When trip love came out, a new virtual talent of "real person + virtual image" was born. After more than a year of development, the trend gradually spread to China. By the end of 2020, a-soul made its debut and became popular by breaking the circle unexpectedly. In almost the same period, the consumption potential of generation Z was recognized by the market. Enterprises have embraced the "two-dimensional" culture, while the scale of domestic virtual idols / anchors has further expanded and gradually attracted the attention of outsiders.

At this time, the domestic media began to promote virtual idols. However, for most of the media chasing hot spots, it is difficult for them to distinguish between the first sound future that once spread all over the country with a song "throwing onion song" and these new "animation villains". Coincidentally, at that time, the domestic market was rectifying the chaos in the rice circle, and unqualified idols and artists were pulled out of the water one by one, causing public anger. "Overturning" and "collapsing house" became hot words on the Internet, so the media took advantage of the trend, extracted the label of "never overturning" from "complete" virtual idols such as chuyin future and luotianyi, and pasted it on the emerging "leather man".

Now,The domestic head virtual idol women's group fell into an operation crisis, and the label of "never rollover" was naturally torn to piecesใ€‚ For those enterprises that have been paying attention to this field since the explosion of a-soul, this obviously does not bode well.

After all, many of these enterprises try to turn to virtual idols because of the frequent accidents of real idols. Now virtual idols will not only overturn, but also guide the fans to put pressure on enterprises. The operational risk is no less than that of real idols. Moreover, with the explosion of a-soul incident, no one knows whether the pace of supervision is on the way to the virtual idol market, and the enthusiasm of enterprises for the track has dissipated a lot.

This is not to say that enterprises will give up those two-dimensional beautiful girls, but,They may approach this field in a more "safe" wayใ€‚

For example, stay away from people.

What enterprises need is only animation beautiful girls?

An interesting fact:Viewers of short videos and some video websites tend to regard "leather man" as the "orthodoxy" of the concept of "virtual man"The performance works of "complete" virtual idols without real elements will be regarded as some kind of "animation".

It is not surprising that this will happen. After all, the occasions where domestic audiences have the most contact with virtual images are not in the "leather man" live studio, but in the animation channels of major TV stations and video websites. For some audiences who don't pay long-term attention to ACG industry, they can't distinguish between the virtual idol planning around a single virtual character or group and the general animation works.

Talking about the domestic animation industry, although the quality is not satisfactory, it still maintains a growth trend. According to the statistics of the prospective industry research institute, the number of users in the domestic animation market is growing, from 114 million in 2016 to 297 million in 2020, and the utilization rate of Internet users is also increasing from 15.6% in 2016 to 30% in 2020.

This is undoubtedly a huge consumer group. andWith the popularity of short video, some domestic animation companies also began to try to develop short video business and chase the outlet, their attempts have also led to some interesting cases, such as yizen little monk, ayayi, Liu Yexi and so on.

Although these virtual images do not choose the Riman style preferred by generation Z, they are also very distinctive characters, and have IP flexibility different from ordinary animation works. The little monk of yizen can broadcast live, Liu Yexi can "link" with other artists in his company, and ayayi can receive commercial advertisements. From the situation of their activities, although they still need dubbing actors, their sense of existence is quite weak, The main body of the whole project is still a virtual image composed of digital technology, which has a great tendency to create a "complete" virtual idol similar to the first sound future and luotianyi style.

However, there are some problems with these "virtual people". For example, their enterprises still lack experience in operating virtual idols. Taking Liu Yexi as an example, its main activity mode is submission video, which has the feeling of "video potential" virtual anchor in the era of love. However, its video content is often criticized as "flashy", full of special effects, but lack of plot or creativity, which is difficult to impress passers-by and audience. Moreover, Compared with the production cost of her video contribution, her liquidity can only be said to be beyond her income.

obviously,Domestic enterprises still have a lot of learning space if they want to operate a virtual idol that is not limited by live dubbing for a long timeใ€‚ Of course, despite this, there is still a clever trick in the market that can earn money by "animation beautiful girls" without much investment - that is, simply launching the brand's animation virtual image.

Compared with consumers themselves, enterprises that are super sensitive to any disturbance in the market are "water heating prophets"ใ€‚ Therefore, in recent years, more and more enterprises began to choose to launch a new image of Riman style in order to win the favor of young people.

White elephant battery animation image

In this regard, Lin Dong, a lover of digital products, said with emotion: "in the past, the publicity and promotion of consumer electronic products took the business style of high-end atmosphere. Now, more and more manufacturers are trying to launch the image of two-dimensional animation. This obvious difference makes people feel that the times have changed."

Lin Dong's feeling is right, because the times have indeed changed.

For the market, age is the simplest and direct label to divide consumer groups. Since 2016, the iterative trend of consumers in the domestic market has been obvious. In many markets, the post-90s have surpassed their elders and become the main consumer, while the group of generation Z has sprung up and become an important role in guiding new consumption.

According to statistics, there are about 260 million people in China's generation Z group. Although these young people have not all gone out of school and achieved economic independence, in the past few years, Guochao, beauty makeup, e-sports, trendplay, Sankeng clothing and other industries have still proved the consumption potential of generation Z with their own success, "optimistic about generation Z and flattering generation Z" has become a new trend in the domestic consumer market.

Among the many means to please generation Z, the introduction of secondary brand image is undoubtedly the simplest and effective method. one side,Launching a brand image with two-dimensional style is a marketing means with a very low threshold, it does not require enterprises to have a specific background or engage in a specific industry, nor does it require enterprises to spend much energy and resources on it. Even the industries sold by enterprises do not need to make any technical changes at all, just like the graphics card and battery products mentioned above. This makes domestic enterprises willing to try this new means quite high.

on the other hand,The publicity effect of the brand image of the two-dimensional style is quite excellentใ€‚ Compared with the establishment of a special operation team, the psychological distance between generation Z Internet users and generation Z Internet users can be shortened by "playing stem" on the Internet. A two-dimensional image is equivalent to a label, waving a flag to generation Z and shouting "I understand you" and "we are the same kind". If the secondary image launched by the enterprise has outstanding quality and distinctive personality, it can easily spread rapidly on the Internet with the help of the power of social media, and even trigger the creative generation Z group to spontaneously carry out secondary creation to help the enterprise carry out publicity and promotion. In some cases, an excellent secondary image brings marketing returns to enterprises or products, even as much as looking for traffic stars to endorse.

Of course, although the lower limit of this method is high, the upper limit is also low. Due to the simple artificial vertical drawing and illustration, these virtual images can not really interact with users with high frequency like virtual idols / anchors, and thus establish emotional contact with users. For generation Z, which emphasizes emotional expression, if they can't invest enough emotion in something, it's difficult to have high consumption enthusiasm.

In fact, in the past period of time, enterprises have actively recruited "people in the middle" to "inject soul" into their secondary image. However, after a-soul fell into the mire, enterprises will undoubtedly press the pause button for the development of relevant projects.

Right now,The trend of two-dimensional enterprise marketing has not yet reached its peak, and the number of two-dimensional "Kanban women" in the market is far from reaching the level of aesthetic fatigue of generation Zใ€‚ It can be predicted that more enterprises will turn to this marketing means.

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