Blog Header
The Insights Blog

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

A Gallery of Marketing and PR in Second Life

I2m_secondlifelogo The virtual world has been getting a lot of coverage in the real world these days.  Second Life is becoming the new poster child for the rising popularity of avatars and virtual personalities that real people are taking on, and every day it seems there is a new development that causes those in marketing and media circles to issue another latest news bulletin, write a blog post, or move on the rise as del.icio.us tag candy.  As some have noted, Second Life and the concept of virtual worlds is not new.  This was an idea first explored in the dotcom days, but never really took off due perhaps to the limitations of PCs, and the lack of abilities for promotion.  Those barriers are gone as personal media allows word to travel farther and faster, and word has certainly spread about Second Life.  Adding even more credibility has been the ability for Linden Labs to continually partner and create new "firsts" for their virtual world.  A big win for credibility was the BusinessWeek cover story several months ago (not to mention the Second Lives documentary airing on television) – but beyond that, they have launched a steady stream of firsts efforts that has made it fun to watch, but tough to keep up with.  As a marketer, the news I tend to pay attention to are all the examples of the new marketing ideas that are coming from Second Life.  From my time observing over the last several months, here is a list of notable firsts marketing and PR efforts from Second Life that may serve useful for others trying to keep up (or catch up) with the rapid evolution of Second Life:

Corporate Virtual Hotel: Starwood’s Aloft

Secondlife_aloft

Virtual Concert: Suzanne Vega’s Queen and the Soldier

Secondlife_suzannevega

Virtual Retailer: American Apparel

Secondlife_americanapparel

Virtual Sports Event: Baseball’s All Star Game

Secondlife_baseball

Virtual Ad Network: MetaAdverse

Secondlife_metaadverse

Virtual Movie Filmed on Location: Bells and Spurs

Secondlife_bellsandspurs2

Virtual Newspaper: The Metaverse Messenger

Secondlife_metaversemessenger

Virtual NonProfit Campaign: Global Kids GK Island

Secondlife_globalkids

UPDATE (08/23/06): Virtual Automaker: Scion (Via Reuben Steiger)

Secondlife_scionweb_001

I am sure there are lots more firsts that I haven’t included here, but it’s a start.  Perhaps what Second Life really needs is a "Linden Book of Virtual Firsts" where a list of all these could be kept and edited by the group.  Sort of a Guiness Book of World Records for Second Lifers.  I’d certainly subscribe to the RSS feed for something like that …

Note: Many Second Life residents commented that this list, which as originally positioned as "firsts" was inaccurate and left out much of the hard work of residents over the past three years before SL realized it’s current media status.  To amend, I have changed the title of this post to reflect the fact that this is a collection of examples – but not necessarily "firsts."  Hopefully this gallery is still a useful resource for marketers interested in learning about some interesting efforts that have taken place in SL recently, however this should not be considered a true list of firsts.

Photo Credits: Most photos were taken from screens available online and link back to the source.  The Global Kids photo was taken from the Flickr collection from GlobalKids.org.  Other sources for information and stories included AdverlabMicropersuasion, Second Life Insider, and New World Notes.

11 thoughts on “A Gallery of Marketing and PR in Second Life”

  1. Torley,
    Thanks for sharing this great resource! I’d love to see a category added for “Corporate/Marketing” firsts. I will contact Oz directly about it, but it would be interesting to get your perspective (as well as other Second Life community members) on how firsts in this category might be viewed in comparison to firsts in categories like scripting, building or avatars. Does a category like this belong in the Second Life History Wiki?

    Reply
  2. We’re aware of the corporate context I think, but it’s a matter of how that tramples the Long Tail aspect. These are significant events, true, it’s important to think about the big picture— those indie people are seeing direct sales as a result, in fact, the barrier to entry is low, that the return is higher. How much did this Firsts have to pay contrasted with the return to make it truly a first.

    Indies, the long tail, and the forgotten ones are the people and things easy to forget because breaking into that monetization opp. That drives folks like Ogilvy (who I LOVE,btw) insane.

    Reply
  3. Eric,
    Thanks for your comments and your reminder about not forgetting the long tail. I suspected when I wrote this that some of these “firsts” might not actually be the first as there is already a vibrant community in Second Life and of course there have been music concerts and hotels and banks already launched. To clarify, the intention of the post is to illustrate several corporate firsts for my audience of marketing and advertising folks to demonstrate the wider appeal Second Life is starting to have. My apologies if I missed some events or offended current residents who have been doing thins like virtual concerts and launching stores already. However, for many mainstream marketers – hopefully this post will be a useful collection of corporate “real world” brands that have entered Second Life. Regardless, I have just added a clarification to the post to make this point as well.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Vector Smart Object

About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries ā€¦ and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

Rohit Bhargava About (1)

Speaking

Do you need a speaker that can help your audience be more innovative and anticipate the future?

For more than a decade, Rohit Bhargava has been inspiring audiences at NASA, Disney, Schwab, Microsoft, SXSW, Coca-Cola and hundreds of other clients with his signature non-obvious keynote presentations. He is a master at weaving recent stories into his talks in a way that helps audiences better understand the world today, while also preparing to lead the future.

Non Obvious Insights
Layer 97
Non Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) youā€™ve been missing.

Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object

Contact

Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and weā€™ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message