Beauty

SK-II's New Brand Ambassador Is Not Even Real

Gone are the golden days where influencers and celebrities could milk thousands and sometimes millions of dollars to act as the face of a brand.

Over the past few months, a new crop of virtual influencers have begun to replace the human kind. Last year, Balmain hired CGI modelsfor its campaign, and more recently, Calvin Klein had Bella Hadid make out with AI-generated virtual influencer Lil Miquela, who boasts close to 2 million Instagram followers.

And now celebrated Japanese skincare label, SK-II has enlisted YUMI, an AI avatar, as its new face. Along with headlining its campaigns, YUMI is designed to develop its own personality traits over time and will also be able to talk, dish beauty advice, and and solve skincare-related customer queries.

Created by AI brand, Soul Machines, the virtual avatar will also be able to speak in multiple languages including Japanese, English, and Mandarin.

"YUMI is more than a digital influencer. She is a digital human capable of interacting and engaging in ways technology hasn't been able to do until now," said Sandeep Seth, chief executive officer of Global SK-II. "YUMI personifies our goal to combine technology and creativity to benefit customers. She provides the warmth and connection of human touch in the form of a digital experience to make the overall skincare experience at home and in store more enjoyable and compelling."

"We are thrilled to work with innovative companies and brands like Procter & Gamble and SK-II, who are embracing technology to humanize brands at scale," added Greg Cross, co-founder and chief business officer of Soul Machines. "YUMI will become a trusted resource to those who interact with her. Customers will immediately notice how easy the Soul Machines digital humans are to converse with and relate to once they spend time interacting with YUMI."

No word yet on when YUMI will be rolled out, but once unveiled, consumers will be able to interact with her across smartphones, home devices and in-stores.

Photo courtesy of SK-II

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