We Are Social Singapore and Plus Company Bridge the Virtual and Physical Worlds

We Are Social Singapore and Plus Company Bridge the Virtual and Physical Worlds

Mar. 07, 2023

We Are Social Singapore and Plus Company have announced an IRL experience to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical world at this year’s SXSW. Cinder’s Cybersip features Cinder, a virtual influencer developed by We Are Social Singapore, who will be serving up unique cyber experiences for SXSW attendees, along with drinks inspired by their journeys through virtual worlds.

Cinder (she/they) is a one-year-old virtual human on a journey of self-discovery. Cinder landed at Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street and opened up Cinder’s Cybersip. This interactive experience will be open to all festival goers, allowing guests to not only enjoy drinks from iconic online worlds but also challenge Cinder to a gamified experience in real-time.

Cinder is a fictional character born after months of in-depth research and developed entirely in-house from the office of global socially-led creative agency, We Are Social Singapore. Cinder’s character is deeply rooted in a personal narrative that is captured in their very own bible, detailing every personal quirk, from their favourite animal to Cinder’s ongoing struggle with their identity.

Cinder was brought to life through the latest innovations in virtual production. Powered by cutting-edge 3D creation software and real-time game engines, this virtual influencer is dynamically lit and rendered in real-time to allow for any type of environmental setting.

The animations were driven by a human actor in real-time through a motion-capture suit and puppeteering of a character model, which was expertly rigged and optimised for virtual production by the We Are Social team. Cinder’s facial animation was also a result of technical innovation, utilising depth sensors to accurately capture and convey realistic facial performances, allowing for relatable performances in all of Cinder’s content.

As 2023 rapidly ushers in a new era of digital marketing, virtual influencers have risen

in popularity, seeing the number of profiles increase over 1300% since 2017. Plus Company, an entrepreneurial network of 24 forward-thinking creative agencies, including We Are Social and its 18 global offices, is walking on the leading edge to showcase the agency network's tech-infused creative capabilities.

A priority across Plus Company’s global agency network is fostering exploration-based learning and pushing creative boundaries through cross-agency collaboration, synergy and continued innovation and tech investment. Virtual influencers, and their potential integration with artificial intelligence and brand marketing, are a perfect example of this.

With the advanced capabilities of AI and the rise of platforms like ChatGPT, virtual influencers will increasingly be less reliant on their human counterparts to give audiences the feeling of engaging in real-time discussion. This would make virtual influencers like Cinder more similar to human influencers in terms of audience engagement and give brands from fashion and beauty to gaming and tech an interesting alternative tool for their influencer and social media marketing.

Virtual influencers are a brand-ownable asset that provide unmatched efficiency and speed to market with minimal rounds of content revisions and deliver almost three times the engagement of real influencers with the ability to bridge the virtual and IRL world, which live influencers are unable to do.

Christina Chong, CEO at We Are Social Singapore, said:

"More than ever, people are looking for meaningful connections, whether virtual or real, and virtual influencers like Cinder, offer a unique opportunity to bring the two worlds together with a high level of interactivity. We’re excited to share Cinder and her story with SXSW attendees and to showcase the impact this could have for our clients and their brands."

 

Brett Marchand, Plus Company CEO, commented:

"Web3 is marketing’s next frontier, and it’s critical that we are at the forefront of exploring the utility and creative uses of this technology to future-proof our agencies and our clients. There is so much potential for businesses to foster more meaningful connections with consumers through the metaverse, and we plan to help our clients push boundaries as partners in possibility."

 

With a goal of becoming the creative agency alliance of the future, this is Plus Company’s second foray into the metaverse after last year’s PlusConnect NFT engagement program, which saw tens of thousands of connections at Advertising Week and internally across the Plus Company network.

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