Virtual influencers – between reality & fantasy

Communication Insigths 19 - Transforming influencer relations through synthetic media

Synthetic media enables the increasingly automated creation of virtual characters, some of whom have amassed millions of followers on social media. Led by Professor Stefan Stieglitz and Sünje Clausen (University of Potsdam), a research project ventured into harnessing these computer-generated characters for influencer communication within corporate landscapes, drawing insights from a case study conducted with Sanofi.

The detailed research findings can be read in the Communication Insights:

  • a brief introduction to influencer communication
  • potential benefits and challenges of virtual influencers
  • ips for the process of designing and leveraging a virtual influencer

Citation: Clausen, S., Stieglitz, S. & Wloka, M. (2023). Between reality & fantasy. Transforming influencer relations through synthetic media. (Communication Insights, Issue 19). Leipzig: Academic Society for Management & Communication. Available online at

ISSN 2749-893X