Meet the Gen Z CGI Influencer Speaking Up About COVID-19

Since we first spoke about CGI influencers here, hundreds more have popped up — creations of companies and individuals around the world. People have come to realise the true value of CGI influencers to any sort of campaign, and some have even begun to use them to spread important messages. During this trying period of the coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has partnered with Knox Frost, one of the CGI influencers who’s made his mark on Instagram. So who is Knox Frost, and what does he have to say about the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Knox Frost: A Brief Introduction

As you know by now, CGI influencers have detailed backstories. This is what makes them appealing to audiences — they straddle a fine line between being real but also subject to things that human beings are incapable of. Put simply, Frost is a 20 year old male who resides in Atlanta. 

He has 1.1M followers on Instagram, which makes him one of the more popular CGI Influencers on Instagram. His average Engagement Rate is 5.59%, which is higher than the industry average of 3.59% for macro influencers. 

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Majority of his audience resides in the US, with a significant proportion also in Turkey, Germany, and the UK. This means that any sort of brand collaborations or partnerships with Frost will be most effective if they are intended to target US followers. 

Why Is WHO x Knox Frost Successful? 

For context, here is the post on @knoxfrost’s Instagram feed: 

It is one of his Top Liked posts this year — not bad at all for a collaboration between a Gen Z and a political body.

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1 – Gen Z’s Are Highly Influential 

Some people remain skeptical about working or collaborating with Gen Zs, specifically because of their young age. However, this is a misconception for two reasons. 

Firstly, young people are spearheading most of the bottom-up change initiatives in the world. Take a look at Greta Thunberg and Fridays For Future as an example. At 16, she started the world’s first school strike for the climate, which spread globally in less than a year. Other Gen Zs fashion influencers are using their Instagram presences to advocate for more sustainable practises in the industry. 

Secondly, Gen Z’s spend the most amount of time on social media, which makes them privy to the best ways to engage with people and get their attention. A somewhat ‘serious’ collaboration with a ‘hip, young person’ (here I risk sounding like a boomer) is actually immensely effective because it shows that you can be cool and care at the same time. 

via GIPHY

More than 50% of Frost’s followers are between the ages of 18-35, which makes them millennials or Gen Zs. 

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Getting a Gen Z influencer to speak to a host of other young people is the best way to get an important message across, and for it to be taken seriously.

2 – Collaboration is In-Line With Existing Influencer Behaviour  

The collaboration between WHO and Frost isn’t necessarily surprising or out of the blue, because Frost had actually been posting about the issues prior. The three posts prior each discuss the COVID period in some way. 

In this one, for example, he linked a coronavirus playlist for those stuck inside. 

In this one he talked about anxiety and how to work with what you have at home. It made sense then when he posted about the partnership with WHO, because it was genuine and followed through with a narrative that he had already embarked on.

3 – Relatable Captions 

A lot of people overlook the caption bit and tend to focus on the image (big picture behaviour), but captions are just as important. A strong first line is the key to grabbing attention and have the user read the rest of the caption. In this case, Knox does exactly that with a straight- up and simple “Hey – listen up” before continuing to detail the important information from WHO. 

There are three methods we can learn from this caption: 

  1. Language that depicts unity: “Let’s show them the younger generations are in this fight”
  2. Colloquial language used by the intended audience: “hit me up”
  3. Clear signposting: “Last thing” etc. 

Combined, this shows us what an ideal caption looks like, so as to achieve the desired effect from the audience. 

Getting a message across is easy when you have the right ambassador who speaks to the audience you are targeting. This partnership between WHO and Knox Frost is a good, simple case study to consider the next time you are looking for an influencer to front a particular campaign, or even an announcement. People listen when the message comes in the right way, from the right person/CGI.


If you are interested in tips on how to pick the right ambassadors or design an effective campaign, sign up for the Popular Chips Newsletter. If you are a brand, get in touch with us at info@popularchips.com to gain access to our AI-Driven Influencer Marketing Platform. 

Written by Deesha Menon

Influencer Marketing at Popular Chips. Interested in social issues, narratives, books, social media, and machine learning.

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