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Title: Investigating the marketing effectiveness of virtual influencers
Authors: Kiew, Josie Siu Ting
Lee, Michelle Tze Yen
Ong, Celine Jia En
Phua, Zhaoxi
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Kiew, J. S. T., Lee, M. T. Y., Ong, C. J. E. & Phua, Z. (2021). Investigating the marketing effectiveness of virtual influencers. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Guided by the Uses and Gratification approach along with the Uncanny Valley Theory, this study sought to understand the phenomenon of virtual influencers. Based on an in-depth interview with 26 participants who are following virtual influencers, this study identified user motivations – including information motivation, entertainment motivation, surveillance, aesthetics, and social identification – for following. We also found that followers perceive virtual influencers as uncanny and eerie. However, followers expressed acceptance towards virtual influencers where authenticity, human-likeness, and self-justification were found to mitigate the effects of the uncanny valley. Finally, in terms of its role in advertising effectiveness, we found that virtual influencers are effective for building brand image and brand awareness but lack persuasive ability to incite purchase intentions. The findings advanced extant literature on user motivations for following virtual influencers in the new edge of social media influencers, provided insights on mitigating factors of the uncanny valley, as well as delineated the efficacy of virtual influencers in advertising campaigns.
Schools: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI/CA)

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