The Reality of Branding Second Life

New brand development opportunities are popping up faster than anyone can track. From toddlers to post-retirees, encountering their favorite brands in movies, media and non-traditional venues is commonplace. What’s interesting (or is it disturbing?) to me is that marketers are utilizing virtual worlds to promote their brands – a stark, clean canvas for marketer and advertisers to begin populating.

For example, consider the one millionth visitor that recently logged into Second Life earlier this month. The virtual community has been around since 1999, but just recently has caught on with the public, and subsequently, catching fire with marketers across the world.
Second Life and Nissan

Take a few minutes to soak this in:

Many individuals are living their Second Life 12 hours a day. 12 hours or more a day? You’d have to be more than dedicated to the virtual cause, and I’m not.

Envelop yourself in your own customized virtual “life”, and you’ll encounter common brands such as Adidas, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, IBM and Nissan. Each of these grand brands has created an interesting virtual representation of themselves, and as you might expect, not without stirring-up some controversy from the Second Life virtual community.

Isn’t one of the main reasons to immerse yourself in an online fantasy life to escape reality? What happens to that escapism when reality creeps into the fantasy in the form of advertising?

If you’re interested in more on this topic, swing on over to CoolzOr. You’ll find a very interesting in-depth review of many of the brands that are venturing into the Second Life community – and some discussion on what it may all mean. Consider the recent launch of Crayon…a real marketing firm launched, and “living in” Second Life (much to the dismay of some of it’s residents).

The biggest ad agencies in the world are virtually there. Even Reuters has a presence to provide news about the world. Not to be outspoken, Second Life has introduced the Second Life Herald – filled with all kinds of “fairly unbalanced” news and activities.
Second Life Herald

And of course….count CNET in.

I’m probably not in the demographic target market of these advertisers and agencies. My idea of escapism is leaving the office for the great outdoors. Even with the proliference of ad campaigns there, at least I have the opportunity to run far away from them for a break.

Personally I’m going for a bike ride in the mountains, or ski down a freshly snowed hill with my free time. I get enough marketing and advertising in reality. But in case YOU don’t… pay us a visit.

2 Responses to “The Reality of Branding Second Life”

  1. Warburton's, INC Says:

    Well, those are really big companies that can afford to leave no stone unturned. they can put themselves in every single available space because they have the money to fund it and the money to be secure if it doesn’t prove to be successful.

    • Larry DeVincenzi Says:

      You’re absolutely right!

      As you’ll see, this post was written nearly four years ago, and you’ve prompted me to go back and see if those big companies are still engaged.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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