A blog for the New Zealand creative advertising industry, now at www.campaignbrief.com/nz. Email news to: michael@campaignbrief.com

Monday, March 19, 2007


Some of the world's top agencies (including BBH - their office is pictured) and marketers (Australia's Telstra is in there) are setting up shop on Second Life, the virtual world on the web that has nearly five million punters signed up and living another life in Cyberspace. Small shops have sprung up to help real-world companies plant flags in the virtual world. Among them is Infinite Vision Media, an eight-person shop that worked with Lichtenstein Creative Media to build Dell Island.
Infinite got the job through a blog post that outlined how companies like Dell could add to the Second Life community.
The Electric Sheep Company, which recently assisted U.S. ad agency GSD&M in setting up shop, has grown to 30 employees since its founding in 2005. Other new players are Rivers Run Red and Millions of Us.

Is advertising in Second Life:
a) the future of marketing?
b) a brave experiment?
c) a complete waste of time?

Also, what can individuals gain/lose from taking part in Second Life?
What are the pros and cons for creatives being involved?

Never heard of it? Check out
  • Second Life
  • . (Say hello to BOWEY LOWEY, he's Lynchy on Second Life, but don't expect an answer immediately, as first life is hectic this month).


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Maybe if the industry goes the way it's going, Second Life may be the only future. Right now, are there any Second Life jobs for the folks at Silverscreen or Oktobor? And what about all the former agency creatives now floating around freelancing?

    9:37 AM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Second Life is a very real phenomenon but it's also 3 years old and it took that amount of time to build the parts that are good about it.

    Most of the corporates who jumped on board last year are finding it very tough to connect with the residents because they don't really understand what lured them there in the first place. For that reason most of the corporate buildings (including BBH's I might add) are always empty - completely deserted.

    To date the only people who have successful turned Second Life into business are the residents themselves and companies like Millions of Us, Rivers Run Red etc who have been reaping the benefits of corporate naivite for the last year and a bit.

    11:10 AM NZST

    Anonymous Jello Biafra said...

    I have a second life

    12:00 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think people go to Second Life to escape commercialism, so any efforts to reach these people will have to amuse and entertain them, rather than use methods employed by most marketers in the real world.

    1:16 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Advertising can't be everywhere...

    2:06 PM NZST

    Anonymous Nic Hodges said...

    Is advertising in Second Life the future of marketing?No. Advertising in SL will exist as long as SL does, but it will never be 'the future of marketing'. Whether it grows to MySpace popularity or continues in it's current demographic, there will always be ads. The difference between SL and more 'regular' online advertising channels is that SL presents opportunities for people outside the publisher. It's possible to erect a billboard on your patch of land and charge for advertisers to display on it.So given this scenario, all we've really done is recreated the current outdoor opportunities that exist in real life for a relatively small and very defined audience. If technology could be introduced to track trends and gather data on individuals within SL, and then serve them up tailored ads, maybe then you'd be going beyond replicating the real world, but only just. Second Life is a place for people tech savvy enough to think MySpace is lame but not geek enough to be playing MMO's, it's not a place to find the future direction of marketing.Is advertising in Second Life a brave experiment?Advertising in SL is braver than just creating some banner ads, but it's still miles behind formulating a blog-driven astro-turfing user generated site/abomination (all i want for xmas is a psp, the zero movement. No one is going to build a lot of brand loyalty by looking at the SL ad market in the same way they look at any other ad market. The opportunities that SL (and other MMO communities like Kaneva or PS3 Home) present are more about hype and grass-roots product/brand support. It's a great environment to launch a new product concept to a select group of users, and is a hell of a lot cheaper than doing it in real life. The concept of invite-eliteness is at it's greatest in the SL demographic, and the amount of positive blog buzz you can generate with very little cost in this arena is where the potential really lies.Is advertising in Second Life a complete waste of time?Devoting too much time to thinking about how you're going to make SL the next great media outlet, and how you can best leverage the opportunities it presents, is a complete waste of time. It shouldn't be ignored, that's for sure, but it's not worthy of entire media plans. Just keep dropping Second Life into client meetings and they'll remain impressed, that's all that's really necessary for now.

    4:42 PM NZST

    Anonymous Jello Biafra said...

    Hi Nic,

    You need to consult a typographer.

    5:18 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So last month

    when people like us know about it, then it has no more cool

    5:32 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Not Nic's fault. It was cut and pasted from the CB Blog but somehow lost the para breaks. To see how he set it, go there.

    6:20 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Second Life is where we go to avoid the real world and especially advertising. Thanks for your comments Jello, can u pls also spend some time coming out with some more awesome punk rock classics like Holidays In Cambodia, I Kill Children or Man With The Dogs? Far more engaging than this lame blog, surely.

    9:54 PM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The reality is digital isn't loved in agency land. Like DM and the paperless office we love the idea in theory (and meetings) but piss-poor in exe.

    Creatives should stick to the 160x600 resize of the print ad, add a CLICK HERE! to the client's site and remember to tell the AE to click the banner like hell so you can enter in AXIS/Effie and Media awards in TV/Print AND TTL/Digital. Tip: Send an all staff email and ask them to send on and you can say it's viral too!

    Please read www.cluetrain.com I beg of you - it's seven years old!

    12:13 AM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    " The difference between SL and more 'regular' online advertising channels is that SL presents opportunities for people outside the publisher. It's possible to erect a billboard on your patch of land and charge for advertisers to display on it."

    This isn't the point at all Nic.

    The promise of Second Life is that you could potentially create meaningful and fun interactions for your brand with a wide audience - beyond erecting a disruptive billboard. It is a participatory culture that has a much older average age (35) and correspondingly a much higher average income than something like MySpace.

    Now just to clarify this isn't to say that I think that most companies should launch in Second Life. Just the opposite, I think that if companies don't want to contribute something that doesn't deliver value in terms of engaging and enriching the experience of Second Life residents then they shouldn't bother.

    10:16 AM NZST

    Anonymous JJ said...

    To look at the bigger picture:

    It's funny, virtual worlds such as SL pretty much have the same human aspects to them as the "real world" does - such things as sex, money, real estate, advertising, even terrorism is starting to appear there.

    They are built and inhabitied by humans communicating with each other after all. Is it really so different to the "outside" world. I must admit, being able to teleport is a decent bonus we don't get out here, yet.

    We can talk about the demographics and whether or not it's worthwhile or a waste of time, but because it involves humans communicating with each other in a capitalist environment, it's inevitable that marketing is going to be involved, don't you think?

    10:18 AM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey maybe we can all have our rates virtually screwed down like we do in real life. let pretend there is virtually no money to make a production.

    bring it on!

    10:19 AM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mark my words, in 5 - 10 years most of the internet will operate in a 3D "virtual" platform. It's a natural evolution from both a design and behavourial platform. Think about, you'll be browsing the shelves in the Amazon book store and see the dude next to you browzing and you can share information and network etc with people who share interests. These "audiences" can be targeted with relevant information and it's all really very exciting! Let's just hope the wealth is shared and it's all owned and controlled by Murdoch.

    10:20 AM NZST

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The internet is nothing more than a passing phase.

    8:02 AM NZST


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