Swivel Media's Erik Hauser offers us this column on his in-depth experience with Second Life, ahead of the curve work for Wells Fargo and his companies creation of Stagecoach Island a virtual reality world based on Second Life. He offers sage advice to marketers with Second Life on the brain.
Marketing to People in Their First Life
By Erik Hauser 10.25.06
I can vaguely recall the days when things were very different.
People spent their time in a world filled with oxygen. It seems just like yesterday - OH MY - it was yesterday! Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we? The date is Jan 1st 1997, and people are starting to spend some time on this thing called the internet. Within a couple of years there was a hyper-saturated web with niche sites that had everything from exclusive glues to websites designed as destination locations for people in their mid 30's that had an affinity for poodles. Certain people claimed they would never leave the house again, and vowed to radically change their behavior.
CoolzOr has put together an in-depth review of the many brands who've stepped in Second Life and the tremendous growth the virtual reality world is experiencing. CoollzOr walks us through the Second Life presence of brands such as Adidas, Reebok, American Apparel, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, IBM, Starwood Hotels and Nissan. Each has created an interesting virtual representation of themselves and, predictably, not without some complaint from SL residents.
Ad agencies have jumped into the world as well including Leo Burnett, BBH and the new social media agency Crayon which will open tomorrow.
If you're interested in keeping with what's happening in Second Life, Reuters has set up shop and provides news about the world. Preceding Reuters' coverage of Second Life is The Second Life Herald which is filled with all sorts of SL activity. CNET is there too.
Second Life has been around since 1999 but has only recently caught on with marketers and, for that matter, the general public having just netted it's one millionth resident a few days ago. In an odd way, this feels like the old AOL when it passed its one million mark. If you missed out on that ride, now's your chance not to miss this one.
Joe Jaffe of Life After the 30-Second Spot and Across the Sound fame has launched a new marketing company icalled Crayon which will make its debut inside Second Life this Thursday. The company intends to be a bit different than your typical marketing firm focusing on social media and the tenets Jaffe set forth in his book. Joining with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson from For Immediate Release and CC Chapman from Accident Hash and Managing the Gray, Jaffe will dive head first into the world of conversational marketing and his belief that companies which refuse to believe marketing is a conversation rather than a one way information dump are doomed to die.
In yet another version of the eBay forehead/pregnant belly advertising thing, the very cute Leah Culver is asking for donations to retire her six year old G3 iMac and buy new MacBook Pro. In return, she promises to etch the names/brands of those who donate onto her new laptop for all to see in the San Francisco area for as long as the new computer lasts. She's already raised $2,687.44 which would appear to be enough to buy the MacBook but she's still selling adspace. Leah, tell us when you sell out, buy the computer and design the laptop cover. We'd love to see it. (Photo by Tantek)
Sort of like Warren Beatty who, facing racial tension in the movie Bulworth said, "If we all fucked each other, we'd eventually end up the same color," this campaign for Belgian weekly teen magazine HUMO presents a culture mash-up to deliver the message that culture mixing makes everyone nicer. As CoolzOr comments, the poster portion of this campaign didn't last long as teens an college kids "borrowed" them for the bedroom and dorm room walls. The campaign appeared in HUMO magazine itself and as wild postings next to posters for candidates running in an election that occurred earlier this month. Belgian agency Mortierbrigage created the campaign. Three other posters can be seen here.
Gawker reports a Swedish gentleman by the name of Jonathon Lundqvist returnd fom a trip to Iran with copies of several western magazines he purchased at a newsstand. All of the magazines are manually censored blocking out areas of the ad which are deemed to be too risque. It's not the censorship that's surprising but the manual labor involved in black inking all the "too revealing" content
Now that Electronic Artists has more fully integrated advertising into its games, it has sent out a new End User License Agreement and Adrants reader Dario Meli tells us most aren't happy with it pointing to an ars tchnica gaming forum. In the forum, most are displeased with EA's collection of user information (though anonymous) but more so with the company's perceived double dipping. Forum members think it's unfair for EA to collect ad revenue without using it to offset the cost of games as is usually the case in other media.
We're sure everyone's just beginning to learn here and that most of these seemingly illogical practices will be weeded out as the marketplace matures. Though, for now, EA has a few gamers up in arms over its integration of advertising into its games.
Uh-oh. Guess now is a bad time to figure this out, considering social networks seem like rabid acquisitions that go for a pretty penny - like, gazillions of pretty pennies at a time.
But did we actually need to tell you this? Were you really ever under the impression all those ads slathered across MySpace's site were achieving anything? There's only one way to market on MySpace: save some money, throw together a somewhat clever site, and whore yourself out to where the eyeballs really go - the Top 8. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
- These BBDO-created Suzuki ads have some very intricate and intriguing illustration.
- Beginning November 17, the University of Texas in Austin is hosting Chaos 2006, a two day event focusing on the crazy changes going on in advertising. Yes, Bob Garfield will be in the house.
- Of you're sick of sponsoring that same old boring sports for your marketing programs, you might want to check out this combination of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics called Bossaball.
We all love to go to trade shows to schmooze with others in the industry, attend panel discussions in hopes we pick up the latest cool marketing tactic and, perhaps, strike a business deal or two. While some of that may have merit, in this fast changing media landscape where everyone's skipping your ads, blocking your pop ups and stripping banners from web pages, it's unlikely any panel is going to deliver you as much insight and usable information as this Guy Kawasaki-led panel called Next Generation Insights. The panel consisted of kids aged 16 to 24 and offered up more a treasure trove of first hand information about media usage habits that will soon define the future of media. From cell phone usage to use of MySpace to IM to online shopping to text messaging gaming to computer usage habits to television viewing to magazine readership to iPod usage to email to online video to RSS and more. It's a motherlode of insightful, usable information about a generation that is indicative of what media usage will look like in the future.
After watching this, you will very quickly realize that all current methods of marketing have a very, very...very short lifespan. There are bright spots though. Interestingly, magazines and billboards were mentioned as viable media outlets. Give it a watch.