AI is already impacting influencer marketing, according to the CMO of Billion Dollar Boy. Here’s how she thinks brands should approach the new tech.

  • Billion Dollar Boy, an influencer marketing firm, has launched a new technology and AI unit.
  • A top executive explained why they’re investing in AI and the plans for the new Muse division.
  • According to the company, content created with generative AI received twice the engagement.

According to Becky Owen, global chief marketing and innovation officer at influencer marketing firm Billion Dollar Boy, generative AI “has an immediate business implication” for the creator economy. Owen is in charge of the company’s AI investment.

Billion Dollar Boy, founded in the United Kingdom in 2014, has collaborated with brands such as L’Oréal, Amazon, Heineken, and Pepsi, among others, and the company estimates its 2022 revenue to be £50 million (approximately $62.4 million).

Muse, the company’s new innovation unit, is led by Owen. The division is investigating the influencer marketing potential of new and emerging technologies. It is primarily interested in generative AI, but it is also experimenting with virtual and augmented reality, as well as virtual influencers.

Owen joined Billion Dollar Boy in early 2023, after nearly five years at Meta, where she most recently served as the head of creator innovations and solutions for Europe. She witnessed several hype cycles surrounding new technologies during her years working in innovation.

“Brands have become very jaded around emerging technology because sometimes the hype masks the reality of what’s going on,” Owen told Insider, citing technologies such as NFTs and the metaverse that were met with enthusiasm but quickly lost relevance with consumers.

Owen and her team anticipate that AI will be different because its impact on business will be more immediate.

“We’re advising certain brands to add an innovation budget, a little amount of money that we work with them on,” Owen went on to say. “We share the risk and we share the cost so it isn’t as aggressive for them to jump into it.”

For the past six months, the division has been working with brands on “agile exploration,” trying out different ways to incorporate AI into influencer-marketing campaigns, according to Owen.

Billion Dollar Boy has already tested pilot collaborations with three retail brands, including two luxury fashion brands that have launched their first generative-AI-led creator content on Instagram.

“What we really liked about this opportunity was the blank slate to work with our creators, be a little bit off the wall,” Owen told me. “Really what you want to do is stretch the technology as far as it can go, and then come back and then see where you land.”

The company did not reveal the names of the brands with which it had collaborated, but said the collaborations included collaborations with several AI artists, including Elmo Mistiaen, Jo Ann, Fashion Coupids, Shanikwa Dvorkin, and Anastasia Rogozhina.

“We’re learning with them and seeing how it works with them,” Owen went on to say.

So far, the campaigns appear to be a success: content created with generative AI received twice the engagement as regular content created without the technology, according to the company. It also stated that in one campaign with 22 videos created without AI and three created with generative AI, the average play rate of the AI videos was 1,403% higher than the non-AI videos.

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