The Fall of the Virtual Influencer AYAYI in China (2023)

Virtual influencers have been making waves in recent years, with some gaining millions of followers and landing lucrative brand collaborations. Ayayi is a leading virtual influencer in China. She experienced a meteoric rise to fame based on the concept of the metaverse.

However, as the metaverse hype faded, so did AYAYI’s popularity.

What we can learn from her journey is valuable insights into the ever-changing digital landscape and the importance of adaptability.

AYAYI: A Famous Virtual Metahuman Influencer

AYAYI, a “metahuman” virtual influencer, was created by Raimai Technology and debuted on May 20, 2021. What are metahumans? What are virtual influencers? Metahumans like AYAYI are realistic virtual personas designed to look and act like real people, but possess abilities beyond those of ordinary humans.

These virtual influencers are made possible through advances in technology. It implies cutting-edge character modeling systems used in AAA video games.

AYAYI’s rise in popularity can be attributed to her visually striking appearance and the growing interest in the metaverse concept between 2021 and 2022. Her debut image quickly went viral, amassing over 126,000 Followers and 314,000 Reactions on the Chinese social platform Xiaohongshu.

ayayi influencer china

Her popularity extended to other platforms like Weibo, where she gained a substantial following and collaborated with brands 1-3 times per month.

The Craze of Metaverse Concept

The metaverse, a term coined to describe a collective virtual space where users can interact with one another and digital objects, gained significant traction in 2022. As technology advanced, the concept of a shared, immersive digital universe became increasingly popular, capturing the imagination of people worldwide.

The metaverse craze led to the proliferation of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, the emergence of decentralized digital currencies, and the development of sophisticated virtual worlds.

Tech giants, startups, and investors flocked to the space, eager to stake their claim in the rapidly expanding metaverse landscape.

This widespread enthusiasm was fueled not only by the promise of innovative and immersive entertainment experiences but also by the potential for new economic opportunities and the evolution of social interactions in the digital realm. As a result, the metaverse quickly became a focal point for technological advancements and cultural shifts in 2022.

The Decline of AYAYI and the Metaverse

AYAYI’s popularity began to fade in late 2022. The decline of the metaverse concept led to a decrease in interest in virtual influencers and metahumans like AYAYI. As a result, her posting frequency and the number of brand collaborations dwindled, signaling a shift in the digital landscape and brand priorities.

There are several factors that could have contributed to the decline of the metaverse and AYAYI’s popularity.

  1. The rapid evolution of technology and the emergence of new trends diverted attention away from the metaverse concept
  2. The challenges of developing a fully functioning, immersive metaverse could have dampened enthusiasm and contributed to the decline of interest in virtual influencers like AYAYI
  3. Luxury and fashion brands are preferring real influencers with their own story, values, flaws that could share a more authentic story instead of a perfect-looking virtual influencer

Another factor could be the oversaturation of virtual influencers in the market, leading to a decreased novelty and demand for metahumans. With numerous virtual influencers competing for attention, it becomes increasingly difficult for any single virtual personality to maintain the spotlight.

What Can We Learn From The Fall of Ayayi?

Let’s dive right in, we have 5 lessons to get from this.

  • Adaptability: Brands must remain adaptable and ready to pivot their strategies as trends evolve. While partnering with virtual influencers may have been an attractive proposition during the metaverse boom, it’s crucial for brands to assess their current relevance and value.
  • Authenticity: While virtual influencers can generate buzz, they may lack the authenticity and connection that real-life influencers provide. Brands should consider the trade-offs between virtual and real-life influencers when deciding on collaborations.
  • Diversification: Rather than relying solely on virtual influencers, brands should consider diversifying their marketing strategies to include a mix of digital and traditional approaches. This helps to mitigate risks associated with rapidly changing trends and ensures a more resilient marketing strategy.
  • Innovation: The rise of the metaverse and virtual influencers highlights the importance of staying on top of technological advancements. Brands should continuously explore and experiment with emerging technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the digital age.
  • Longevity: The decline of AYAYI serves as a reminder that brands should prioritize long-term value over short-term gains. When selecting influencers, brands should consider factors such as audience engagement, relevance, and the potential for a lasting partnership.

Brands can learn from AYAYI’s experience in the digital landscape. Being adaptable allows for keeping up with changing trends and adjusting strategies as needed.

Authenticity is key to creating real connections with audiences and building trust.

A diverse marketing approach helps minimize risks and ensures a well-rounded strategy. Embracing new technologies keeps brands relevant and competitive in the digital world. Lastly, focusing on long-term partnerships and campaigns proves beneficial in the long run.

By keeping these lessons in mind—adaptability, authenticity, diversification, innovation, and longevity—brands can set themselves up for ongoing success in the metaverse era and stay connected with their target audiences.

Build Your Sustainable Influencer Strategy in China

At ECHO, we worked on thousands of influencer marketing campaigns. With 5+ years of experience, we realized that influencers are a daily changing market that needs to be constantly monitored. The success of yesterday is not the success of tomorrow.

As a team of professionals in marketing and strategy, we focus on delivering ROI-driven solutions to ensure both short-term results and long-term brand success. Our 360° service offering includes market research, social media management, and influencer marketing, providing you with a comprehensive approach to achieving your goals.

Entrust your brand’s growth to a marketing agency that truly understands the Chinese market. Reach out to us at ECHO for an initial consultation, and let our team of experts develop a customized strategy that will elevate your brand’s presence and secure a strong foothold in China.

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