Second-Guessing Second Life: Is this Virtual Playground Worth Your Marketing Dollars?
The massively multiplayer world Second Life, a creation of 3D software developer Linden Labs, represents a bold new trend in online marketing. Auto manufacturer Toyota set up a virtual city in Second Life so users could test drive an electronic version of the Scion xB compact hatchback. Clothing manufacturer American Apparel opened a virtual store in Second Life that sold virtual versions of American Apparel clothes and used the environment to get feedback on a newly developed style of jeans. Many other companies have followed suit. But is Second Life really a good place to spend your marketing dollars?
Second Life jives heavily with the Web 2.0 mentality. It’s community-based and gives users control of just about everything. In fact, almost everything in Second Life, except for the land itself, is created by users with the scripting and 3D modeling tools provided by Linden Labs. Users buy and sell these in-game creations, powering a growing in-game economy made entirely of virtual “Linden Dollars.” The fluidity of the environment makes Second Life both an attractive and an uncertain platform for marketing.
For a Second Life marketing campaign to be a success, it has to generate word-of-mouth spillover into the Internet at-large. The audience that can be reached directly by a Second Life campaign is actually very small. That entails about 20,000 to 100,000 people over a period of a few months, estimates Reuben Steiger, the founder of Millions of Us, a company that builds campaigns in virtual 3D worlds like Second Life. However, those few who experience the campaign usually spend anywhere from one to five hours interacting with it. “That’s a level of engagement that’s off the charts,” Steiger notes, considering that most online advertisers measure engagement in seconds.
In order to participate in a campaign on Second Life, users have to actively seek them out. The virtual land area in Second Life is about five times the size of Manhattan and growing. Finding a virtual construction requires knowledge of that location’s coordinates through other means, usually a blog post. Those who actively seek out a campaign are already interested in the brand. That, coupled with the high level of interactivity, can create brand evangelists, influential voices online who blog about things they’ve experienced and can amplify the reach of a campaign. “We’ve seen exposure and reach in the blogosphere anywhere from 10-30 million impressions, and we see similar numbers in main stream media coverage,” says Steiger.
I’m glad that someone else has taken the time to point out the rather obvious shortcomings of this over-hyped channel.
- Pingback from Second Life Marketing « SimChroniCity.com
We’ll be looking at this and more in some detail at the Virtual Worlds Conference, taking place March 28-29, 2007 in NYC. VW 2007 is the leading event for Fortune 500 companies seeking to understand and maximize marketing, entertainment and business strategies within virtual worlds. VW 2007 web site is http://www.VirtualWorlds2007.com
Hope to see you there.
Leave a Comment
Adknowledge Announces Launch of ‘AdStation International’KANSAS CITY, Mo., November 25, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Adknowledge is pleased to announce the launch of AdStation International, a global [...] more...
- Survey: Facebook is the Most Trusted Review Platform Over Pinterest, Youtube and Twitter December 9th 2013 NEW YORK, December 9, 2013 (ADOTAS) — A new [...] more »
- Bazaarvoice Introduces Authentic Reviews Trust Mark to Help #EndFakeReviews December 9th 2013 AUSTIN, Texas, December 9, 2013 (ADOTAS) – Bazaarvoice, Inc. (NASDAQ:BV), [...] more »
- UPDATED: Twitter Officially Launches Tailored Audiences Program December 6th 2013 ADOTAS – Twitter brought its tailored audiences ad program out [...] more »
- veeseo Launches Speech-to-Text Content Recognition Engine for Video Advertising December 6th 2013 ADOTAS — Video marketing company veeseo announced this week a [...] more »
- Today’s Burning Question: Massive Hack Attack Reaction December 5th 2013 ADOTAS – Today we’re featuring reactions from industry leaders to yesterday’s [...] more »
- Dell Software Exec: Strong Password Would Not Have Stopped Latest Hack December 5th 2013 ADOTAS — In response to Today’s Burning Question about reports [...] more »
- If You Waited for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, You Were Probably Too Late December 5th 2013 ADOTAS – While holiday shoppers have been conditioned to believe [...] more »
- Google’s Disavow Tool: The What, Why and How December 9th 2013
- Making Holiday Marketing Magic in 2013 December 6th 2013
- 5 New Video Ads You Should Watch Right Now December 6th 2013
- How Interactive Video is Helping Brands Engage with Their Customers December 5th 2013
- Is Putting Digital First Still Paramount for Advertisers? December 5th 2013
- Manager Planner - Digital Vendor Marketing
- Brand Manager
- Publisher Services Manager
- Social Media Manager (Part-Time)
- Social Media Manager
- Text Marketing News December 6, 2013 | Text Marketing Companies: [...] veeseo Launches Speech-to-Text Content Recognition Engine for Video … – ADOTAS [...]
- Dell Software Exec: Strong Password Would Not Have Stopped Latest Hack: [...] — In response to Today’s Burning Question about reports of the latest major cyberattack,
- Zimmerman Advertising Has What White Castle Craves – ADOTAS | Zimmerman News: [...] more here: Google Zimmerman News In [...]
- Online Video Quality Matters More Than You Think | Video Industry | OneScreen: [...] so. In fact, branded videos are getting shared 50 times more in 2013 than