Second Life: next hot spot for online guerilla marketing?

October 16, 2006

Second Life is getting a lot of buzz lately. First there were the stories of large sums of money changing hands, then someone bought a nightclub in the virtual world and now it seems to be the place that companies want to have a presence. Whether this is to seem cool or to speak to a new customer base remains to be seen…

A good example of the way Second Life is being used by companies is a marketing initiative launched by Intel in the virtual world. They have had world-renowned virtual builder, Versu Richelieu, creating a new masterpiece in the Second Life virtual landscape using an Intel Centrino Duo based laptop for 72 hours. While working she was eating, sleeping, and living a completely digital life in a New York City shop window. A great bit of viral work to show how powerful their new Duo chips can be.

The hotel industry has got involved too. Starwood Hotels are creating a hotel in the virtual world before they create it in the real world, there by giving people a preview (and of course generating a buzz). The Aloft Hotels are part of the W Hotels range and this is giving them some really good exposure.

Finally, Reuters have today launched a news bureau in Second Life. This will provide news updates to residents of Second Life via a mobile device they carry around while online. Top story today? A piece about whether virtual economies deserve taxing like real ones!

So what’s next? There seems to be an opportunity for a travel company to get involved in Second Life. A virtual tour operator perhaps? Who knows, with approx 900,000 members Second Life is a viable platform for marketing on now and with money changing hands it’s easy to see why companies are moving in.


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