Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Agencies Marketing to Avatars

Second Life has built up quite a buzz in the past several months.

AdWeek: "Agency Avatars"

"BBH, like Burnett, sees the Second Life investment as a way to enhance the agency experience. "It's a much more exciting way to share work," says Rogers. "You can e-mail a jpeg and take a look at it on your computer and then e-mail your colleague back, but the experience is a bit flat. Here you can look at it and talk about it in real time."

Bottom line, say these agency execs, having space on Second Life is an investment in their futures. "As we move from an ad-centered to an ideas-centered world, my job is to focus the agency on creative and big ideas," Tutssel explains. "It's going to be a great breeding ground for ideas. And our currency exchange is ideas."

Brand Channels: "Virtual Worlds: The Next Realm in Advertising?"

" What do Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, the W Hotel and the American Cancer Society all have in common? They all use a virtual realm to reach out to potential customers and supporters in novel ways. Today, traditional media captures less attention from the younger generation—including the young at heart! New venues that address this demographic are evolving.

What is the real value of advertising in this new virtual world? First, consumers have the ability to experience things not currently possible in the real world. Product trials in virtual settings provide a low-risk environment for testing features and benefits. You can hire avatars to be product ambassadors and answer common questions. Also, you can demonstrate your 3D product or service in use. Live video and jpegs can add to the experience to help educate the user. In some cases, live feeds such as the Atlantis Shuttle launch can be viewed in some virtual settings."

AdAge: "Video Games Now a Social Experience"

"Social-networking sites are grabbing all the headlines about what's new in digital media, but new research from Nielsen Entertainment shows that video games are increasingly being used as a way for consumers to meet and bond with fellow players.

Marketers spent $56 million last year on in-game advertising and product placement, according to research firm Yankee Group. Yankee expects that number, which includes ads placed in both online and console games, to reach $730 million by 2010. "

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