Monday, June 19, 2006

Response to American Apparel in Second Life

There are a number of posts and articles talking about the launch of the American Apparel store in Second Life.


“Part of the fun of the game is creating characters to look like a model of yourself or to become something fantastic, like monsters or robots or pixies,” says Raz Schionning, American Apparel’s Web director. “People like us for what we stand for, so they’ll have the chance to dress their characters in our clothes.”


"The action was initiated when someone from American Apparel approached popular 'SL' architect Aimee Weber about opening a virtual version of the clothes store, according to Wallace.

Weber, who designed the building, said it was based on the fashion label's Tokyo showroom, Wallace reported. The sleek, mostly glass structure is shaped like two stacked boxes, and features lighting that changes at virtual nightfall.

The retailer's use of eye-catching colors and revealing cuts, though conservative in comparison with the racy, barely there styles sported by 'SL' avatars, reports Wallace, fit with SL's culture, which revolves around the pursuit of sex and fashion."

Clickable Culture:

"Unlike a handful of recent big-business appearances in Second Life, American Apparel seems to be taking a sensible, integrated approach to creating a lasting brand experience. Fashion is possibly the biggest industry in Second Life (aside from the sex industry)--surely official American Apparel merchandise will sell well in the virtual world, possibly resulting in real-world sales, too. It's conceivable that the company could also offer new clothing exclusively in Second Life, or even use the virtual world as a place to test new clothing lines."

In-Game Advertising:

"Blurred borders: the AA's Fine Jersey T dress on the web, pictured on the display (modelled both in real life and in SL), on the racks and on customer. When you touch the display, a dialog pops up inviting you to check the corresponding webpage. The real life dress costs US $26, the Second Life version costs 350 in Linden playmoney, or about $1."

On trade marks in SL, Jerry Pepper (found on Socbleizer):

"But, why is it so important that I had to wait to write about SL trademarks and American Apparel? Because they all tie in together. If corporations are going to begin launching officially branded SL products in the game, if there are already trademark infringements, that is going to impede companies from going in to the SL universe. The demographics for SL are quite interesting - the right age, the right breakdown of males/females, a good number of real-world transactions - that many companies are going to look at SL as a new place to market."

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