Second Life Marketing Rush: Why?

Introduction: Telus on Second Life

The list of Second Life advertisers keeps on growing: Scion, NOAA, Starwood Hotels, American Apparel, Wells Fargo Bank and so on.

Just recently, Springwise reports that:

Telus, Canada’s second largest telco…opened a store in the sim of Shinda last week. Telus is both the first major Canadian corporation, and the first major telecommunications company to enter [Second Life] SL.

Telus’s SL phones currently only let users shoot off busy messages to other citizens. The phones are on sale for a few hundred Linden Dollars, which is the equivalent of a few US dollars.

Why Advertise?

Harvard Business Reviewon Second Life
Paul Hemp of Havard Business Review wrote “Avatar-Based Marketing“, which made the case for “Avatar-Based Marketing”. One of the things mentioned was that companies can exploit the unique environment of places like Second Life to 1) Really help an audience “experience the brand” in a more intimate level; and 2) Have the ability to literally track the behavior of the audience as they interact with the brand and the enviorment.

But is it worth it for companies to be on SL?
Second Life has taken on as a very active virtual community. While not a MySpace in size, it (at the time of this writting) has some interesting statistics:

  • 600,024 Residents
  • 264,00 Active Residents (logged on in the past 60 days)
  • $304,152 Spent by the Residents in the past 24 Hours

The fact that real money is being sent by real people makes Second Life an interesting marketing platform. This brings me to a series of questions on Second Life Advertising:

  • What is the associated cost for advertising on Second Life?
  • How many Second Life members buy? How often? How much?
  • How much member behavior can you track Second Life?
  • What is the demographic profile of Second Life members?
  • Are these members influencers? Of any sort? On online, offline etc.

Closing Commentary
I, unfortunately, havent seen any hard numbers or data on the above questions. Time available, I’m inclined to ask around on Second Life and find some answers. Until then, its hard for me to see Second Life “Avatar-based Marketing” as nothing more than an interesting marketing experiement, but definately near a sigificant consideration.

If anyone has the answer to the questions above, please shoot me an email or comment below. Maybe its time for me to interview some SL marketers.






2 responses to “Second Life Marketing Rush: Why?”

  1. […] One of my questions regarding much of the movement towards establishing a presence (stores) and campaigns in Second Life is the lack of any clear user data (See Second Life Marketing Rush: Why?). Indeed, there has even been a debate on the actual population and active userbase of Second Life, much less other informations like demographics, psychographics, purchase behavior et cetera. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × 3 =