Marketers wasting money in Second Life

July 26, 2007

There’s a great article in Wired Magazine talking about the wasted marketing dollars that are being ploughed into Second Life at the moment. Here’s some excerpts below:

At least 50 major companies have ventured into the virtual world to date, spending millions in the process. IBM has created a massive complex of adjoining islands dedicated to recruitment, employee training, and in-world business meetings. Coldwell Banker has opened a virtual real estate office. Brands like Adidas, H&R Block, and Sears have set up shop. CNET and Reuters have opened virtual bureaus there. It’s as if the moon suddenly had oxygen. Nobody wants to miss out.

On a random day in June, the most popular location was Money Island (where Linden dollars, the official currency, are given away gratis), with a score of 136,000. Sexy Beach, one of several regions that offer virtual sex shops, dancing, and no-strings hookups, came in at 133,000. The Sears store on IBM’s Innovation Island had a traffic score of 281; Coke’s Virtual Thirst pavilion, a mere 27. And even when corporate destinations actually draw people, the PR can be less than ideal.

This shows that for all the money invested, Second Life residents just don’t seem to be into the type of offerings that are placing themselves in the virtual world. Does this make it a waste of money? I reckon so for large investments (in pots and pans of course), it’s still worth getting into Second Life because it could be turned around and become more valuable to marketers and to win it you will have to be in it. Just don’t jump in with a huge investment straight away! It is with having brand presence!

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