How a virtual influencer is helping the WHO fight coronavirus

As the world’s workers have retreated to their homes in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, technology has become essential to help organisations keep the wheels of enterprise turning. Certainly, the efforts that are now necessary to help stop the spread of the virus are greatly supported by online tools for collaboration, and streaming services and social media have made it much easier to adhere to lockdown measures, both in terms of productivity and of entertainment.

Now, technology is also being used in innovative ways, taking advantage of the popularity of social media and its influencers to encourage people to stay at home and adhere to social distancing guidelines. While social media influencers are nothing new, influencers that are generated by computers are also starting to gain ground on platforms like Instagram – and are proving almost as popular as their real-life counterparts.

Knox Frost is one CGI influencer who has been using “his” platform to aid the World Health Organization to fight the novel coronavirus. This digital creation personifies a 20-year-old male from Atlanta in the US and has already garnered more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram since joining the platform in February last year. Now Frost has partnered with the WHO to combat the coronavirus by targeting the largest part of his following: members of Generation Z.

In a statement, the influencer marketing and social data firm Influential, the company behind the partnership, said that having a CGI influencer on board speaks to this younger audience.

“As we’ve all seen in the media, Gen Z and Millennials need to take this to heart. Having a voice like Knox’s will certainly raise awareness, reinforce COVID-19 best practices, and drive donations for WHO. In the era of social distancing, virtual influencers are quickly emerging as an innovative new part of the influencer landscape, so we are excited to have Knox Frost on board to participate in our campaign with WHO,” said Influential CEO Ryan Detert.

The collaboration forms a part of the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and is a novel way to get the message out to the largest possible audience.

Paul Garwood, acting head of the leadership unit at the WHO’s Department of Communication echoed this sentiment, saying, “In general, the World Health Organization has received a lot of support from media organisations around the world to share accurate information and advice to protect themselves from coronavirus.”


The Instagram post in which the CGI influencer Knox Frost announced his partnership with the WHO.

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