Why is AirAsia introducing their own virtual idol?

This piece of news sounds a little bit random to me, but because it came from AirAsia I wasn’t too surprised seeing as Tony Fernandez has been doing quite a few zany things lately. The airline company is set to introduce its first virtual idol—Aozora Kurumi.

Aosora Kurumi is part of AirAsia’s Project Kavvaii, a platform to “showcase talents and empower the growing VTuber (virtual YouTuber) community across Southeast Asia”. It aims to “provide potential talents with the best resources to be the best VTuber of the region and be a stellar representation of Southeast Asia to the world”.

The majority of VTubers are Japanese-speaking YouTubers or live streamers who use anime-inspired avatar designs. And they are also quite popular. In 2020, there are more than 10,000 active VTubers—including Mirai Akari, and even N-ko, Netflix Anime’s Official VTuber.

As Aozora Kurumi is the first of the Project Kavvaii program, it is expected that more virtual idols would be introduced. According to their page, they plan to assist their talents “by supporting them on the business side of things, searching for potential clients, track monetary channels from your streams, provide marketing support”.

“We are proud to introduce our first virtual idol today which we foresee will be a game-changer in the future of streaming content in Asean. As a digital company, the constant change in the way people consume online content drives us to explore cross-industry innovations with Project Kavvaii to stay relevant and ahead of trends,” said Rudy Khaw, Chief Brand Officer of AirAsia Group.

Aozora Kurumi is designed by a “renowned illustrator artist in virtual idol community Yueko”. Her vocals were provided by a talent chosen from a Project Kavvaii open audition held in March.

It’s nice to see more of this type of content come out of Southeast Asia. Although, I’m not too sure of why AirAsia’s first VTuber looks like a white Victorian lady instead of someone Southeast Asian, but it’s probably a community-based thing that I don’t understand.

She will debut is set to stream on YouTube on 8th May 2021 at 8pm (GMT +8)—making “exciting online content in gaming and lifestyle categories with live broadcasts”. You can follow Aozora Kurumi on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest updates.

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Dzamira Dzafri