AirAsia hunts for virtual ASEAN idol, offers 1-year paid content creator contract

AirAsia is on the hunt for a next virtual idol as part of its Project Kavvaii programme, which seeks to offer potential talent with full resources to be the best virtual idol in the region. According to the airline, the virtual idol is defined as a content creator who uses a digital avatar and the individual will secure a one-year contract with airasia as a paid content creator and receive a complete streaming setup. He or she will also represent ASEAN globally by charting a career trajectory, searching for potential clients, providing marketing support, tracking monetary channels from their streams, and supporting the business side of streaming.

The airline's first virtual idol was created by Yueko, a well-known illustrator artist in the virtual idol community. AirAsia said the character will be rigged and animated by industry veteran Iron Vertex to fit the personality of the virtual idol. Project Kavvaii’s first virtual idol is expected to start streaming in the second quarter of 2021. Open auditions run until 28 March.

Chief brand officer Rudy Khaw explained that while virtual idols are not a new phenomenon worldwide, the community in ASEAN is expanding and as a digital company, AirAsia believes this is an opportune time to fast-track the growth of virtual idols. Hence, it has decided to tap on its digital capabilities such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition.

AirAsia is not new to the virtual scene. A year ago, it launched a virtual influencer named Miss AVA, an evolution of its chatbot named AVA (AirAsia Virtual Allstar) rolled out in January 2019. Khaw told A+M previously that Miss AVA was created as a new way to engage consumers and attend to their queries, as well as drive social engagement. Also, Miss AVA has no race, religion or nationality. Hence, Khaw said her sense of flexibility and consistency will be constant.

Meanwhile, the chatbot AVA was built in-house by the AirAsia Software Engineering and Technology and Customer Happiness team using technology from Ada, a Toronto based company that specialises in AI-powered customer experience.

The company has been building up on its super app experience over the past few months, most recently launching a real-time chat function in a bid to become a one-stop messaging platform. Lead of airasia chat Melissa Lim said the new features seeks to become a one-stop multipurpose messaging platform for its users to continue enjoying a social and seamless chat experience. Users get to pick and choose community chat rooms with topics that resonate with them and chat with other users as well. They can also play games to earn BIG Points which can be redeemed on the super app. It also bit into Malaysia's and Singapore's food delivery space as part of its efforts to build an ASEAN super app.

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