If you saw the 2013 romantic sci-fi drama ‘Her’ featuring Joaquin Phoenix you will remember how virtual reality can change the world around you by bringing the change from within altering the complexion of your emotions and enriching the spectrum of your feelings. Only the stark realization that something that looks unquestionably real is in fact simulated brings back the primordial question “what is reality?”. Leaving the philosophical debate on reality aside, let’s talk about So Kamal, the brand has jumped into the world of virtual reality.
So Kamal has launched Pakistan’s first virtual fashion model Sasha to represent the brand. Sasha is not just a 3D object designed by So Kamal to feature on one of its digital campaigns, she is a character with an identity and a life. The concept is to have a person with all the attributes of a real individual in order to give weightage to everything she does. It is too early to call Sasha the brand ambassador or a digital mascot. For now, the brand is referring to her as a new member of So Kamal family.
Virtual modeling may not be a new concept in the world of digital marketing but at least in Pakistan, it was unheard of at this level. The last six months or so were disastrous for fashion brands and clothing retailers. COVID-19 was the crisis nobody was prepared for. On the one hand, it eroded the business but on the other, it pushed them to come up with creative solutions. Sasha is the byproduct of the crisis the business faced. She is just a glimpse of what the future world of marketing and adverting will look like.
Sasha is the idea conceived by So Kamal CEO Mrs. Erum Ahmed. Mrs. Erum has developed Sasha as a person full of life. She has social media accounts where she likes to share her travels, events, and stuff. She also blogs about her life and topics related to fashion, hence a ‘real’ person with real-life experiences.
The most important question is whether the audience will like the virtual model or not? Appearances do matter. The 3D cartoonish appearance of the model could be a problem. A realistic face might have been more relatable, believable tricking the mind into accepting the virtual reality as real. Nevertheless, So Kamal has taken a good initiative in exploring the potential of digital marketing and the value of artificial intelligence.