CGI Influencers: What Do Real Consumers Think?

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Each passing year, reality seems more and more like something from an 80s sci-fi novel. Tech is evolving at such a mesmerizing pace; it is hard to guess where code will take over consciousness next.

In 2018, we witnessed the rise of CGI models on social media. With 1.2 million Instagram followers, @lilmiquela represents the most influential of the 3D-modeled models. Lithely posing her digital limbs, Miquela’s technologically perfected image seems to be a natural progression in the era of extreme filters and photo-editing apps. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the efforts of the body positivity movement and expanded diversity in modeling. This cultural cognitive dissonance is reflected on an individual basis as well

In a survey conducted by Glamour Magazine this year, women were asked what defines beauty:

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With so much mixed messaging in the realm of fashion and beauty, how do women consumers view CGI? Since it is transparently artificial, do they consider it a step forward in terms of dismantling unrealistic beauty ideals?

We asked the Suzy community to find out…

How do you feel about computer-generated models replacing human models in print and video advertisements? Why?

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With many women expressing thoughts like…

I’d prefer they use actual people. The beauty standards are already insurmountable as is without someone’s imagined perfection being used to advertise to the public.
Models are already airbrushed to show unattainable beauty standards. Computer-generated models would be flawless and trigger young girls into hating their own bodies.
No thank you. Photoshopped humans already make me feel like I am not good enough, I don’t need anything else reminding me.

So, we retargeted that same segment of consumers to ask if they would feel positively about CGI models replacing humans if the CGI represented greater diversity in body types.

As for the areas those consumers expected to see CGI models?

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And, maybe most importantly, could consumers tell the difference between a real human model and CGI?

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Suzy says...

Women consumers are stuck at a confusing crossroads: there is more media honestly depicting bodies, but there are also apps and filters and unrealistic standards set by social media stars. At this point, consumers can’t even tell the difference between CGI and human models, but they know they feel uncomfortable by it. What they crave is authentic humanity, flaws included.

Jon Resnik