Misplaced Virtual Models, Visual Identity Crisis and Is SEO Dead?
Bi-weekly news commentary
How are you? I hope your week is going amazingly well.
In this bi-weekly news commentary, I provide exclusive insights into noteworthy news stories that have caught my attention as the visual storytelling landscape evolves.
Misplaced Virtual Models
The gist: While looking to tell a story of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), Levi’s, the denim-wear label, has caused a public outcry by using AI-generated diverse models and not live models.
Why it matters:
Amy Gershkoff Bolles, Levi’s global head of digital and emerging technology strategy, announced the model’s debut at a Business of Fashion event in March. AI models will not completely replace the humans, she said, but will serve as a “supplement” intended to aid in the brand’s representation of various sizes, skin tones and ages.
This story is important on several levels.
First, it works against their brand narrative of “increasing the number and diversity of our models for our products in a sustainable way” by taking - what in social got labeled as “the lazy way out” - using virtual robots.
Second, it’s a great example of where brands need to pay very careful attention of the fine line of sensible logic. As a brand you don’t want to fall into the Shiny Object Syndrome and use a trendy tech (AI models) in the wrong places.
Third, this story suggests the first step of how a dystopian world may look like where entire marketing cycle could be fully controlled by AI. We’ve already seen mega virtual influencers like Lil Miquela and Shudu used to promote various brands since 2016. However now we’re entering a new stage in virtualization; AI-generated visual stories,