rand mascots have permeated consumer culture for decades, with famous, well-loved characters like the GEICO Gecko or Tony the Tiger reaching household name status. Brands all over the world, like the renowned-in-Brazil ‘Magazine Luiza’, create their own brand spokespersons to humanize their image and connect to customers.
Two approaches exist in the brand spokesperson playbook: go human, or go virtual. Despite Jake from Statefarm, Flo from Progressive, and Mayhem from Allstate, more and more brands are opting to create virtual-first personas—and for good reason. Virtual influencers live forever, can be ported to any platform or studio workflow, won’t be late to work, and won’t get caught up in scandals.
CB is one of those beloved virtual characters, representing one of the most prominent Brazilian retail brands: Casas Bahia. The image of a young boy with a signature pirate hat affectionately referred to as 'Bahianino' was used by the Casas Bahia brand for decades.
Just as Casas Bahia's brand evolved over time, so did their mascot. In October of 2020, he "grew up" from a 2D child and transformed into the 3D teenage character named 'CB' that we know today.
CB is now a fully-fledged virtual influencer representing the Casa Bahia brand across all social media platforms to the tune of 10M+ followers. He breathes new life into the brand’s online presence by bringing his own adolescent flair to the posts. Whether it's recreating famous memes or dressing up as his favorite anime characters, there is never a dull moment on Casa Bahia’s social feed, thanks to CB.
Today, I had an awesome time sitting down with CB in virtual reality to explore, play games, and chat about his life at Casa Bahia.
It’s great to meet you CB! What have you been up to today?
Oh, it's really cool to meet you, Christopher. I'm super happy to be part of this community together with other virtual beings I admire so much.
Well, as usual I've been up to a lot of things today *laughs*. I've played video games and created content with my team. I've organized my next trip to explore Brazil and our myriad of subcultures.
I've interacted and solved problems from Casas Bahia clients. I've read a new super cool Naruto's manga, and, finally, I've been listening to trap all day—I'm just loving the beats and the style.
Wow, that sounds fun! What’s it like being the face for a large brand?
It's amazing to represent and be the symbol of a brand that is proud of its Brazilian roots and has a connection with all Brazilians at some point in its history. It takes a lot of commitment, but I love it.
I create content, participate in campaigns, discuss and promote topics related to sustainability and diversity, relate to the public, and help solve client problems. In short, I fully embody the brand and the company.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I am always creating and experimenting. I produce content for my social networks, meet with my game team to play and have fun, or go to the park to play football with my friend. Sometimes, I venture into the kitchen to prepare Brazilian dishes.
I spend a lot of time creating, liking, and laughing at memes on social media. Most importantly, I participate in and promote social, cultural, and environmental actions in hope of a more balanced and socially aware world.
Love that. Do people treat you differently because you’re virtual?
Definitely not! I read somewhere that "if you feel it, it's real". I don't want to look like something I'm not. I am a virtual being, but I have mutual relationships with my followers. In a way, we're all built on our relationships, and I'm no different from that. I have my essence, but I am in constant transformation and evolution due to the interaction with my community.
I like to use my "super powers" to create content that genuinely connects with the audience. I like it when people tell me that I make their days lighter and more fun. You know, the world is complex and often tough, so being able to bring moments of decompression to my community is amazing.
In 2020, you underwent an image change and grew up! What was growing older like, and what is your favorite part of being a teenager?
Don't grow up, it's a trap! *laughs* Just kidding. Growing up is definitely an amazing journey. It is a process of constant discovery. Having the chance to interact with so many people is incredible because I have the opportunity to always be open to learning and understanding new perspectives and visions of the world. I feel like my personality is always evolving and evolving every day, and it's rad.
A good thing about being a teenager is the amount of new things I try. Places to travel and discover culture, an infinite amount of music to listen to and dance to and an absurd number of cool people that I have the chance to interact and learn from.
On the other hand, growing up also brings responsibilities. A post of mine impacts millions of people, so I need to be honest, transparent and use that reach to mobilize others to create a positive impact. There is time to play and there is time to talk about serious matters. I learned that more than being influential, I want to be relevant.
I am a teenager engaged with social, cultural and environmental causes and I really see that our generation is aware of the challenges that the world needs to make a priority going forward.
I love the memes on your Instagram page. Do you make them yourself? What’s your favorite meme?
I breathe memes daily… *laughs*. Memes are one of the most amazing and important forms of expression and manifestation today. Mostly I create myself, but I also get some tips from the restless mind of the Miagui and Via crew who work daily beside me. Anyone who doesn't know them definitely needs to.
It's very difficult to choose just one, so go for three, okay?
I see you’re a pretty legit gamer. What game should everyone check out lately?
I play a lot of games. I love Fortnite's graphics and social dynamics. As a football lover, I really enjoy playing FIFA together with my friends. And I also appreciate PS5 open world games. But if I have to choose just one favorite, without a doubt, it's Free Fire.
Did you know that I am part of a Free Fire team? The name is "Fluxo" and its creator, Nobru, became the Creative Head of Games at Casas Bahia. He is a legend. I love getting together with him and the team to play, it's always a party. I challenge you to a match, Christopher, take care, I'm a master in "rushar" my opponents! *laughs*
I’ll definitely try it! Do you have any exciting projects coming up you can tell us about?
Wow! Many, but I need to keep most of them secret. After all, the secret to success is the secret, *laughs*. A recent one that I am very proud of and that I dedicated a lot to was the opening of a Casas Bahia experience store in São Paulo. I had the opportunity to create my own space there and I had no doubts about transforming my Gamer Room, which previously only existed on digital, into a physical experience for my followers.
You know, it's getting harder and harder to distinguish the digital and the physical worlds, we're going to the Metaverse, *laughs*!
“The secret to success is the secret.” –CB
I can't wait to see it! You advocate for the environment a lot on your social media. What makes you so passionate about sustainability?
I think more than a passion, I see it as a commitment. The environment and natural resources are crying out for "enough" to humanity and we need to be serious about changing the situation. I think we can create awareness by having fun and smiling. I feel my generation is super engaged and I'm sure we will change the world for the better.
What role do you think virtual reality could play in achieving sustainability?
I, as a virtual being, feel that I can provoke and show people how privileged they are to live in such an abundant physical world, such a beautiful and productive nature.
Technology, if used in the right way, is an unparalleled resource for change. I think we need to make both the real and the digital world more sustainable and aware.
Thank you for doing that. Finally, a question I ask every virtual I meet: Who are you, CB?
I am a teenager with the essence of the youth of Brazil. I fight and think about a better, more sustainable and diverse world in every way.