The Future of CG on Social Media: Trends and Predictions

Jan 17, 2024 / Industry Insights / FOTW

The Future of CG on Social Media

The transformative impact of computer-generated (CG) content on social media cannot be understated. Just a few years ago, you might have scrolled through your social media feed and encountered primarily text-based posts or simple images. Fast forward to today, and your experience is radically different. CG on social media has not only enhanced the visual appeal of content but also redefined user engagement, making every online interaction more immersive and dynamic.

Imagine scrolling through your social media feed and coming across a strikingly lifelike image of a person promoting a brand. You pause, intrigued, only to realise this influencer isn’t a real person but a CG creation. This is the surprising reality of CG on social media today. Computer-generated influencers, meticulously crafted through digital rendering, have started making significant inroads in the realm of social media, challenging the traditional landscape of digital marketing and personal branding.

So, what is the future of computer-generated content on social media, and how can your business utilise TV advertising to create social video content? We’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the past.

Read more: Social Video Advertising Guides

The Early Days of CG on Social Media

The journey of Computer-Generated (CG) content on social media is both fascinating and transformative. You might be intrigued to learn that CG’s initial foray into social media wasn’t a sudden explosion, but a gradual integration that mirrored technological advancements.


The Beginning: A Tale of Tech and Creativity

CG’s introduction to social media platforms coincided with the rise of advanced graphic design and 3D animation software. Initially, CG content was predominantly used in high-end film production, but as technology became more accessible, social media platforms began to see a surge in CG content. 

During the late 2000s and early 2010s, platforms like YouTube and Facebook became hotbeds for amateur and professional CG artists to showcase their skills.


Milestones in CG Popularity

One of the key milestones in CG’s social media history was the increasing popularity of 3D-animated short films and music videos. These pieces, often created by independent artists, began to gain viral status. You might recall the early days of YouTube, where CG animated shorts like ‘Big Buck Bunny‘ (2008) and ‘Sintel’ (2010) garnered millions of views. These works demonstrated not only the potential for CG to tell compelling stories but also its capacity to engage a wide audience on social media platforms.

These early developments were crucial in setting the stage for modern CG advancements. As technology progressed, so did the quality and realism of CG content. The transition from simplistic, animated avatars to lifelike, digitally-rendered influencers marks a significant evolution in the CG landscape. This progress was paralleled by the growing sophistication of social media algorithms and platforms, which began to support and promote high-quality CG content more effectively.


The Current State of CG in Social Media

The early CG content on social media served as a testing ground, paving the way for the current era, where CG is not only more advanced but also seamlessly integrated into the fabric of social media. It’s a testament to the endless possibilities that emerge when technology and creativity converge, reshaping how you perceive and interact with digital content on social media platforms today.

CG content has evolved to be incredibly diverse, ranging from hyper-realistic human avatars to fantastical, otherworldly environments. These creations are not just confined to the fringes of social media but are central to the strategies of big brands, influencers, and content creators alike.


Technological Advancements Fueling CG Quality and Accessibility

The leap in CG quality and accessibility owes much to technological advancements. Key among these is the development of sophisticated graphic design software and rendering tools, which have become more user-friendly and financially accessible. This democratisation of CG tools has enabled a wider range of creators to produce high-quality content.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also played a crucial role. AI algorithms can now generate detailed textures, realistic lighting, and even human-like movements and expressions with minimal human input. This has significantly reduced the time and skill required to create convincing CG content.


Current Uses of CG on Social Media Platforms

Here are some of the more popular uses of CG on social media platforms today:


Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Meta’s push into the VR space with Oculus and the Metaverse, and Snapchat’s AR lenses are prime examples of how CG enhances user experience. These platforms allow users to immerse themselves in entirely CG environments or augment their reality with CG elements.

Educational and Informative Content

YouTube features a plethora of CG-based educational content. Channels like Kurzgesagt and TED-Ed use CG animations to explain complex scientific and philosophical concepts in an engaging, visually appealing manner.


Emerging Trends in CG for Social Media

Trends in computer-generated content (CG) on social media are always changing. Aside from altering the production process, these innovations are also changing the way users around the world comprehend and engage with content. 

Let’s look at some of the latest trends in CG and their impact on the social media space.


1. New Animation Techniques

When it comes to CG animation, technological advancements continually push the boundaries of what’s possible. 

One significant trend is the use of real-time rendering technology. This approach, which renders CG imagery instantaneously, allows creators to make and modify animations on the fly, vastly speeding up the creative process. It’s a game-changer for live-streaming content, where real-time interaction is crucial.

Another groundbreaking development is the use of machine learning and AI in animation. These technologies enable the creation of more life-like and responsive CG characters. AI algorithms can now analyse human emotions and movements, allowing them to replicate these in digital avatars with startling accuracy. This not only enhances the realism of the characters but also makes the process more efficient.


2. Rise of Virtual Influencers

Virtual influencers represent one of the most fascinating trends in CG for social media. These are digitally created characters that, unlike traditional influencers, exist solely in the virtual realm. They are gaining significant traction on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

These virtual influencers are not just static entities; they have their own personalities and stories, and even interact with their followers, much like their human counterparts. Brands are increasingly collaborating with these virtual entities, recognising their appeal to tech-savvy and younger audiences.

What sets these virtual influencers apart is their perfect blend of human-like traits with the limitless possibilities of digital creation. They can be in multiple places at once, take on any appearance, and perform activities that might be impossible or dangerous for humans. This opens up a realm of endless creative possibilities for storytelling and marketing.


3. Fake Out of Home

The “Fake Out of Home” (or FOOH) trend is a revolutionary concept where CG technology creates virtual outdoor advertising experiences through augmented reality social video. Imagine seeing a video of someone walking down a street, and instead of traditional billboards, there’s a hyper-realistic product that seems to blend seamlessly with the real world. 

This approach offers advertisers incredible flexibility and creativity for the brands they work for. It’s also an engaging way to capture the attention of the public, providing an immersive experience that traditional, stagnant OOH advertising can’t match.

The potential for social media integration in “Fake Out of Home” advertising is enormous. Brands like Maybelline are fans of FOOH, bringing eyes to the concept with the help of a massive mascara wand swiping across the Tube on top of giant eyelashes. Although it wasn’t real, the resulting social media engagement was phenomenal. This not only increases the reach of the campaigns but also enhances user engagement through interactive and larger-than-life content.


Turning Your CG TV Ad Into Social Media Content

Repurposing your CG (Computer-Generated) TV advertisements for social media isn’t just a matter of cutting and posting. It requires a strategic approach to ensure your content resonates with diverse audiences on various platforms. Not to mention, repurposing your TV ad for social media is a cost-effective way to stretch your marketing budget.

Let’s explore some effective strategies to transform your CG TV ads into engaging social media content:


Strategies for Repurposing CG TV Ads

Tailoring for Different Platforms

Each social media platform has its unique characteristics and audience preferences. For instance, Instagram users often gravitate towards visually striking, short-form content, while YouTube viewers might prefer longer, more detailed videos. 

To effectively repurpose your CG TV ad, consider the following:

    • Shorten Length for Platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter): Cut down your TV ad into shorter clips. Highlight key messages or visually appealing moments that can capture attention in a few seconds.
    • Expand for YouTube: You have more flexibility on platforms like YouTube. Consider extending your TV ad with additional behind-the-scenes content, making-of videos, or extended narratives.
    • Adapt for Vertical Viewing on TikTok and Snapchat: Many users on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat consume content on mobile devices. Ensure your CG content is optimised for vertical viewing to enhance user experience.
    • Interactive Elements for Facebook and LinkedIn: Add interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or Q&A sessions to your CG content for platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, where audience engagement can be more conversation-driven.
  • Emphasise Narrative for All Platforms: Narrative adaptation is crucial when transforming your CG TV ad for social media. The storytelling approach that works for a TV audience might not resonate as well on social media platforms, where users seek more direct and personal engagement.


Final Thoughts

We’ve covered the ever-changing world of CGI on social media. From the early days of CG’s introduction to social media platforms, marked by key milestones and pioneering content, to the current state where computer-generated imagery dominates various aspects of social media storytelling and marketing. We glanced at the latest trends, highlighting cutting-edge animation techniques and the rise of virtual influencers, showcasing the vast potential of CG in reshaping digital interactions.

Remember, the key to successfully transforming your CG TV ad into social media content lies in understanding the unique dynamics of each platform and your audience’s preferences. Or, better yet, partner with a highly experienced TV ad agency like ours that will get it done from the word “go”. Plus, repurposing your TV advert for social media gives you great value for money. And who wouldn’t like that?

So get in touch, and let’s craft your brand’s story for the Gogglebox and beyond!

Author - Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at Fall Off The Wall, a forward-thinking TV advertising & creative production agency in the UK. Jamie Smith is an experienced Creative Director with a demonstrated history of working in the DRTV marketing and advertising industry.