If you are still busy discussing Aakash Ambani’s Pre-wedding party, or even Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s Engagement, or the more recent celebrity buzz about Anoop Jalota and her girlfriend, then you might like to update yourself a bit. Gone are the days when masses used to go in the frenzy upon the appearance of their favorite celebrity in an advertisement, or upon any news concerning an extremely popular personality.
This era belongs to an entirely new class of celebrities, who have high efficiency, unprecedented popularity, and a lot less tantrums. Seems like a Utopia? Wait for some more info before you form your opinion about this.
Celebrities that I’m talking about here are the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) celebrities. No, they are not at all unreal. All they are is the “real” virtual celebrities. There’s a reason behind my coinage of such a paradoxical term. Most of the “real” flesh and blood celebrities are really not what they appear to be on the big screens, advertisements, or even on their Instagram and Twitter accounts. So one positive point about these CGI celebrities is that they appear what they actually are because their virtuality is the only reality they have got of their own.
Shudu, created with the help of 3-D modeling software by Cameron-James Wilson is the “world’s first digital supermodel”. She was designed by Wilson for giving the message of diversity in the entertainment and fashion industry, as Shudu is a dark-colored CGI model.
This must have given you an idea that with these digital celebrities, one can achieve anything he or she intends to. Dark-skinned, fair-skinned, short-height, tall, curls, silky hair, just imagine and create. One example is Bermuda, who was designed during Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign to support him and influence the masses to vote for him. Rest is history.
In case you are already shocked, just wait a little more. These digital celebrities are so influential that they can sell any concert, any product, and any commodity, in just a snap of the fingers. Lil Miquela for example, who endorses Prada; and Hatsune Miku who sells voice synthesizers and who is now holding concerts where her hologram sings the fan-written songs.
Imagine how much money these brands are saving by cutting the high costs of the real celebrities, and are still able to create a sensation. Now one may argue and question the existence of these virtual celebrities on the ethical grounds. Like how come these celebrities sell products like linen, voice synthesizer, or perfumes when they have no life and hence no senses of their own?
I have a valid reply to this, which does not only put into display the virtuality of digital celebrities, but also the reality of real celebrities. Do you think Kareena Kapoor herself bathe with Lux or Ranveer Singh uses a Vivo? Yea, it’s not the real preference of celebrities that matter when it comes to advertisement, but celebrities; influence and popularity. And to explain by numbers, the Instagram followers of CGI-created celebrities are as much as those of the real celebrities.
So despite not existing actually, they are making their presence felt all over (and they even use publicity stunts). Most famous (or infamous) is the Insta war of Lil Miquela and Bermuda when the latter kept the former’s Insta account hostage and asked her to reveal her “real” identity.
I don’t know to which extent can we question these CGI-created celebrities when we ourselves are nowhere near the reality on our own social media accounts. The creators of these celebrities call them an expression of Postmodern Art, where the artistic imagination in meeting technology. So we should rather embrace what technology is offering to us in terms of enhancement of Artistic abilities.
Preeti Taneja has a rich experience of various technologies and finance for over two decades. She has worked for top global consulting companies and is the founder of letsdiskuss.com .It is India’s first Question and Answer portal in English and Hindi. You can connect with Preeti by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org