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Computer-generated influencers: the rise of digital personalities

Mona Mrad (American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Zahy Ramadan (Department of Marketing, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Lina Issam Nasr (Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 18 April 2022

Issue publication date: 4 July 2022

1781

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the key components pertaining and governing a Computer-Generated Influencer’s (CGI’s) identity and explores and analyzes the ensuing relationship between the CGI and its digital environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows an exploratory approach using in-depth interviews of CGI followers. A total of 37 in-depth interviews were then analyzed using an inductive thematic approach to steer data coding.

Findings

CGIs are considered as brand entities that have a combination of components under their overall perceived identity. This study encompasses the different relational dimensions, whether from a follower’s followers, CGI-follower’s, CGI–human influencer’s or CGI-endorsed brand’s perspective.

Originality/value

This research contributes a seminal work in the field of virtual influencers.

Keywords

Citation

Mrad, M., Ramadan, Z. and Nasr, L.I. (2022), "Computer-generated influencers: the rise of digital personalities", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 589-603. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-12-2021-0423

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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