New Marketing Company Launches in Second Life, Some Not Happy
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.