New Marketing Company Launches in Second Life, Some Not Happy

crayon_logo_sm.jpg

As we mentioned Monday, Crayon, a company claiming to be the world's first new marketing company will launch today at noon both in the "real world" and within Second Life on Crayonville Island. Crayon President and Founder Joseph Jaffe explains the need for the company saying, "The world has changed, but marketing, advertising, and public relations have not. There is no question that the influence organizations can achieve through traditional marketing, advertising and PR is fading fast." Crayon intends to help "marketers and communications professionals make sense of the profound changes in order to connect the dots between the burgeoning new approaches and possibilities available to them," the press release states.

Joining Jaffe in the company are former Citigroup financial guy Gary Cohen as CEO, music podcasting evangelist C. C. Chapman, social media dude, Neville Hobson, communications vet and author Shel Holtz, entertainment industry guru Chris Trela, planning consultant Francis Anderson and Aaron Greenberber and Michael Denton.

Crayon intends to use Second Life as its base of operations seemingly to practice what it preaches by inserting itself into one of the fastest growing elements of social media out there. Not everyone is happy with Crayon joining Second Life nor the stampede of brands entering the grid as Second Life is sometimes referred to including Urizenus Sklar who writes for The Second Life Herald, a publication that keeps tabs on SL. Sklar argues the recent claims of firsts by marketers and companies entering SL are "bullshit" and that SL residents have been hard at work for years creating their own companies and brands citing "the hundreds of concerts that we have attended over the last three years in Second Life...the boxing matches and car races and archery tournaments and sailing regattas we have seen over the last three years...the virtual hotels and rental properties that have existed in Second Life, and clothing stores."

Sklar goes on to crucify brand and marketers for their lack of knowledge about SL and their presumptuousness upon entering the grid calling them "bunch of desperate clueless fucktards." He offers up advice to brands who have hired marketers to insert them into SL saying, "If you are a corporation paying these people good money, get your money back now!, because they don't know the first thing about this place and they are pissing people the fuck off. Whether they know anything about new media is another question, but I find it hard to imagine that they are anything more than old media dinosaurs wearing ill-fitting pixel clothing. The seams are showing. They don't even know how to move their slide bars."

The riff is just typical early adopters versus late entry capitalists bent on following the eyeballs wherever they may be. It's happening with MySpace right now and people are leaving. It will happen with Second Life too. It's just too easy in this digital world to move somewhere else where marketers aren't. It's your typical game of cat and mouse. If marketers don't tread carefully, fully understand what they are getting into, converse with and understand clearly the mindset of the people who live in the world they are entering, a disasterous backlash will occur and all parties will lose.

We're not sure Crayon is the answer but we do know there are some smart people behind it and the motivation to be respectful and responsible for the media into which they step is there. Let's all pass the peace pipe now.

Check out the Adrants Forum discussion on Second Life.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (14)     File: Agencies, Online, Opinion, Social     Oct-26-06  
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Comments

I attended the virtual launch party--interesting concept--don't think SL is the be all anbd end all for Crayon-- there is lots of "new" social media out there.

Thing about this supposed "riff" is that it seems SL is big enough for the old gamer diehards and us fucktard marketers.

My PR agency has been conducting client meetings and press briefings in Second Life. A bit gimmicky? Perhaps. But we are actually conducting business there. Clueless brand-grabbing will always be identified as such-- I have no use for it in real life either.

Anyway-- congrats to the Crayon bunch. May your days be as exciting as "mango tango" and "jazzberry jam."

Posted by: DougH on October 26, 2006 04:17 PM

I think that advertising in Second Life is very interesting, and opens up many possibilites for marketing. I wrote about Second Life in my own blog. Check it out at http://ickristy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Kristy on October 26, 2006 04:39 PM

I think that advertising in Second Life is very interesting, and opens up many possibilites for marketing. I wrote about Second Life in my own blog. Check it out at http://ickristy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Kristy on October 26, 2006 04:40 PM

crayon is in Second Life for a few reasons, but to compete with those who have been there a long time and worked hard to build their brands is not one of them. We are NOT a Second Life marketing company. We are a marketing company that has its headquarters in Second Life. It makes sense to us, since I'm in San Francisco, Joseph's in Connecticut, C.C. is in Boston, Neville's outside of London, and Chris is in New York. Should we meet via teleconference? Second Life is simply the best solution for us to function virtually yet still be able to meet face-to...er...avatar-to-avatar.

Sure, we could wind up advising a client to do something in Second Life if it makes sense strategically based on the brief. I would have done the same in my independent consultancy if it had come up. It's not a requirement, though, or even a goal. I do find it interesting, though, that because we have our offices in Second Life, so many people assume that can only mean that we're strictly a Second Life company. Isn't that one-dimensional thinking?

Posted by: Shel Holtz on October 26, 2006 07:13 PM

Just another waste of time if you ask me -- latch onto the latest "thing" (Second Life in this case)... and in the end accomplish absolutely nothing... other than burning through a bunch of a client's dough with no ROI in the end

Posted by: Skeptical on October 26, 2006 09:12 PM

"Should we meet via teleconference? "

Well yes, if you want to make the most productive use of your time. Or are we to believe that constant lag and having to type out your conversation is the cutting edge you need?

It would be better for your sake to simply state it's a publicity grab and admit your mistakes in marketing yourself.

Oops...sorry I forgot your a marketing company...wouldn't bode well for future clients if they saw you weren't even able to market yourself correctly, now would it?

Posted by: Boz on October 26, 2006 11:18 PM

Ah, cynicism reigns.

I've participated in more video teleconferences than I care to remember. These have been among the LEAST productive uses of my time. The video cuts out. The frame rate is intolerable. The flexibility is limited. The camera cannot move into other rooms. Participants cannot continue participating if they need to split out to accomplish a secondary task and then return to the main meeting room.

IBM and Sun Microsystems are among many organizations SL for meetings because it is more efficient than video teleconferencing. Even Harvard professors are holding classes there. But it's a publicity grab for us because we happen to be a marketing company? We're doing it for efficiency's sake. You're welcome to not believe that, of course, but we'll keep being efficient in SL anyway.

Between typing 120 words per minute and SL's improving ability to pipe in audio, I'm not experiencing any inefficiencies on that count.

Posted by: Shel Holtz on October 27, 2006 08:11 AM

I would say that SL is pretty lame, to start. But, I can't even register a name that seems to be valid. Great user experience lame.

Posted by: Edward on October 27, 2006 11:51 AM

From the horse's mouth:

"Coming through the launch process, I'm learned a pretty important lesson. Opening up a storefront/presence in Second Life is not dissimilar to a Wal-Mart opening up in a small town."

http://www.jaffejuice.com/

Well sure it is when you make serious blunders in your approach to the existing community and then follow it up with a ruthless defense that never fixes the problem.

And comparing yourself to Wal-Mart? Another serious mistake.

You may want to reconsider this immersion into new media thing until you get the hang of it.

Posted by: Trey on October 27, 2006 12:41 PM

Glad to see Shel is involved in Crayon. I think he "gets" the social media thing and will help Crayon earn the trust of the Second Lifers.

With that in mind, the onslaught of companies heading to Second Life is bound to piss Second Lifers off. It seems pretty similar to when companies like McDonalds and WalMart create fake blogs and the blogosphere gets all fired up.

Hopefully big corporations and their marketing companies will tread lightly and learn to be good corporate citizens in Second Life...if not, Second Life will fall into gradual decline.

But for some reason I have a nagging feeling that the corporate world will manage to ruin Second Life sooner or later...


Posted by: Marketing Punk on November 5, 2006 10:51 PM

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Crayon have done zilch in SL or RL since launch. I think they took overflow from Sheep's Sundance premier at Crayon island and that's about it. Go to their uninspiring island and you will find it empty most days of the week. And am I the only one heartily sick of Joe Jaffe's self-absorbed half thought out ranting?

Posted by: Bob Godfrey on January 13, 2007 03:33 PM

I think that advertising in Second Life is very interesting, and opens up many possibilites for marketing. I wrote about Second Life in my own blog. Check it out at http://callfromnextlife.blogspot.com

Posted by: volkov on March 6, 2007 10:23 AM

I think that advertising in Second Life is very interesting, and opens up many possibilites for marketing. I wrote about Second Life in my own blog. Check it out at http://callfromnextlife.blogspot.com

Posted by: volkov on March 6, 2007 10:28 AM

Joseph Jaffe and his company blew up didn't they? Or are they still going?

Posted by: Isaac on November 28, 2007 10:31 PM

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