This Influencer Has Nearly 150,000 Instagram Followers and Makes Over $10,000 a Month. There's Just One Catch — She's Not Real. Aitana López has over 149,000 Instagram followers and brands love her. Is she the future of social media marketing?

By Jonathan Small

Key Takeaways

  • Aitana López, an AI-generated Spanish model, is in high demand.
  • She was created by The Clueless agency to avoid unreliable human influencers.
  • Critics say she creates unrealistic beauty standards.
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Photo by The Clueless

Aitana Lopez is a pink-haired 25-year-old model from Barcelona who enjoys video games, cosplay, and working out. She has 149,000 Instagram followers and earns an impressive $11,000 a month in brand deals.

And, as her initials indicate, she's entirely generated by AI.

Aitana is the creation of The Clueless, an AI modeling agency in Spain that, according to their website, designs "thoughtful, long-lasting models that beautifully represent diverse personalities."

According to Rubén Cruz, Aitana's creator and founder of The Clueless, he created her because too many real influencers he worked with were unpredictable and costing his firm money.

"Many projects were being put on hold or canceled due to problems beyond our control. Often, it was the fault of the influencer or model," Cruz told Euronews.

The solution was to create an attractive model with all the assets people want — minus the attitude.

"We did it so that we could make a better living and not be dependent on other people who have egos, who have manias, or who just want to make a lot of money by posing," says Cruz.

Related: Can AI Outperform Human Creativity? Research Suggests Machines Are More Capable Than We Thought.

How Aitana Was Born

Cruz stresses that he didn't create Aitana overnight after a few random DALL-E queries. His design team meticulously crafted her life to mirror a "strong and determined woman." Every facet of her personality is carefully calibrated to appeal to online fans and brands.

"A lot of thought has gone into Aitana," he told EuroNews. "We created her based on what society likes most. We thought about the tastes, hobbies, and niches that have been trending in recent years."

For example, he says her hair is pink to mirror the style of gamer culture. She doesn't smile all the time to show that she's complicated and a little self-centered. She's an extrovert but also has a caring, sensitive side.

The Clueless design team schedules her activities every week, from traveling to Madrid to dressing up like Trinity from The Matrix.

Related: We Are Disillusioned and in an Influencer Overdrive — Here's How to Find Authentic Guidance via Social Media Influencers

A Virtual Success Story

The creation of a virtual influencer seems to be paying off.

Aitana may not be real, but her fans are. She's piqued curiosity and engagement on IG, leaving some admirers shocked that she's AI. In particular, one Latin-American actor with millions of followers texted Aitana for a date, according to Cruz.

Since Aitana first debuted last summer, Cruz says his agency has been bombarded by brands with requests to create custom-tailored AI ambassadors.

But Cruz and The Clueless also have their critics. Many see the trend as taking money out of the pockets of real-life influencers, creating a world where people don't know who's real and who's fake.

Others express concern over the unrealistic standards AI models may set, perpetuating a highly sexualized image in marketing. They fear that her digitally enhanced looks could lead to negative self-comparisons and feelings of inadequacy among young girls.

However, Cruz argues that AI models like Aitana keep the marketplace competitive by enabling brands with smaller budgets to afford social influencers, who can command up to $10,000 per post.

He says that creating sexy influencers like Aitana mirrors what the marketplace demands.

"If we don't follow this aesthetic, brands won't be interested. To change this system, you have to change the vision of the brands. The world in general is sexualized."

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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