The biggest business news from the Second Life Community Convention here in San Francisco this weekend comes in the form of two reputed brands entering the 3D online world as immersive, interactive objects.
First out the gate was an announcement from UK branding agency Rivers Run Red that they’d be creating a permanent presence for Adidas, with more than a couple dozen shoe models for your avatar to wear. (More details here. )
Not to be outdone, new metaverse developer Millions of Us (a sponsor of my SL blog, so take with a rock of sodium) announced they had an agreement with Toyota to offer an official, virtual edition of the Scion xB to Second Life residents.
For good measure, the Millions staff (all wearing blue coveralls, like James Bond villian henchmen) made that announcement in the parking lot of a bitterly cold Fort Mason parking lot, tearing off in a real Scion, and when it rounded a curve, horn honking, released numerous copies into Second Life. (Fully-appointed and drivable around the 3D world, of course.)
How effective this form of brand promotion actually is remains to be seen, but during a panel discussion on RL-to-SL business at SLCC, the CEOs of both companies gave the reasoning behind their campaigns.
For Millions’ Reuben Steiger, Second Life offers companies a venue to engage “the cultural tastemakers”, the relatively small but technologically savvy early adopters that comprise much of SL’s 230,000 (+_ subscriber base, while for Rivers’ Justin Bovington, the goal is to “give consumers an opportunity to engage with a brand.”