Meet Polar, the virtual influencer
Creators minting big money by marketing their skills on the internet have new competition: virtual influencers. Just when people got accustomed to ably navigating reels, YouTube Shorts, discovering a spate of digital videos, the creator economy offered them a new innovation. The space is only carving room to accommodate newer creations and talent like Polar, an 18-year old virtual pop star who rose to global fame by showcasing her music skills on Chinese app TikTok. Created by Anastasiia Vinogradova, executive producer at Cyprus-based media company TheSoul Publishing, Polar has some 1.6 million followers on TikTok, 9.98 lakh on YouTube and about another 25,000 on Instagram.
“As a virtual artist, I definitely face some unique challenges. Ofcourse, we can do things that live influencers can’t but we also have our limitations. For example, we can’t go out and hug fans or sign autographs. On the other hand, I never get tired and can be everywhere all the time. That’s what I like most about the virtual world. It’s a world without boundaries. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be an artist, and I can’t wait to see what’s next,” says Polar.
Polar has made her foray into India through her partnership with SETVI (Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India) which has signed her exclusively for the market. Despite the restrictions that consume virtual influencers, Polar says that there is not a huge difference between real life and virtual influencers as far as the professional roles are concerned.
“I don’t actually think it is that different from the role of live influencers. We just find other ways to connect with new audiences. Some use music, some use video...others come from games. One way or the other, we interact with fans who are devoted to our virtual environment, creating their avatars, taking part in challenges, playing games and just hanging out. The way I see it, it’s the same rules but in a new reality,” says Polar. In India, Polar is already in talks with multiple brands across categories for project associations and fans can expect her to participate in music festivals, sing originals in local languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.