7 reasons why Virtual influencer are the future of marketing: 1 - Trust

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The first question most people ask me when I tell them about the agency and what it does is this, why would humans want to engage with a Virtual influencer, they are not real.  People presume it might simply be because they want to be entertained, but even then they don’t see much value in that. However, the real reason that people engage with V.I’s is a s follows;

Humans trust robots more than they trust humans

In every test where robots have been used to help people overcome grief, to council them about difficult or tragic circumstances, the human opens up and talks about how they really feel, much more quickly, and with less barriers than if it was a human they were talking to.


The answer is simple – they know they are not going to be judged

 We are tribal creatures, we are controlled by how we think our tribe or other humans are going to perceive us, this colours absolutely everything we do and say, including how we present ourselves to our therapists, our friends, our colleagues – and how we talk online and on social.

When we know the person we are talking to is a robot and is not going to judge us, we tend to open up, and it is largely this process of opening up and explaining how and why we truly feel how we do that enables us to process and recover during difficult times, that, in essence, is why I say Virtual Influencers are trusted more than humans.

Don’t believe me? How about this psychologist from USC's Institute for Creative Technologies  talking about a Government DARPA funded study - psychologist Gale Lucas states.

"People are very open to feeling connected to things that aren't people,"  

The study reveals that soldiers are more likely to divulge symptoms of PTSD to a virtual interviewer than in post-deployment health surveys. The findings appear in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI, and suggest virtual interviewers could be better than human therapists at helping soldiers open up.

 Or heres another one, it’s a study that finds,

“Virtual humans increase willingness to disclose”


“This finding suggests that the technology-user relationship provides protection that the therapist-client relationship does not”.

Taking a step back and looking at our VIs, this presents an opportunity, and a responsibility. An opportunity because of the level of depth and emotion we can share with our followers, a responsibility because we have to take this relationship seriously and always be respectful and cautious in our approach.

 We are in the process of automating the responses from our V.is to humans through the use of tonal analysers and Machine Learning / AI tech, and its good, not the best but good. We still have humans writing text etc, in character, so we are not automated yet, and won’t be for a long time. But the issue of trust and bonding with V.Is is simply not an issue.

Dudley Nevill-Spencer

13 Mar 2018 - Here is a nice article that explains some of the applications of grief bots in particular, its well rounded and insightful.


17 Oct 2017 - Somebody they can trust.

Virtual Therapists Help Veterans Open Up About PTSD | WIRED


August 9, 2016