Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

Learning From A Deserted Second Life

One of the few recurring themes in this newsletter has been about the emergence of Second Life as a place for advertisers. The second half of 2006 saw a virtual rush of brands trying to make their presence felt on SL. IPG’s The Future of Media Lab reports of a eulogy of SL that appeared recently in Wired. Our personal experience with virtual worlds is that there’s an active learning curve for people to regular participants in these experiences. Any investments that brands make in these kinds of spaces have to be seen from a purely experimental point of view. Consumers of the future will be participating in virtual experiences in a big, big way and all that SL was showing us was how these spaces will evolve in the coming years. Another thing that a marketer looking at the future needs to understand is that participating in the mediums of the future will not be as simple and direct as it used to be. Traditional ROI measurements will not apply in the future. Tomorrow will belong to marketers who are willing to dive in headlong into new and experimental forms of media and participate in these spaces in interesting and unusual ways. We think that The Media Lab post, unlike the Wired story, points to the future in a much more positive way.

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One thought on “Learning From A Deserted Second Life

  1. Wow. Thanks for the kind words and insight. Over at the lab, we’ve always been big believers that brands need to start getting their feet wet with certain technologies, regardless of the current hype surrounding them (both good and bad). To use a simplistic and quickly-becoming-cliched example, a little over ten years ago, people were still highly skeptical that they would ever use their credit card numbers online in order to purchase products.

    Now it’s a way of life.

    Outside of academic institutions, whose research the business community probably doesn’t pay enough attention to, the only groups that have enough money to conduct serious trials in emerging technologies are large brands and they’re going to play a very important role in the quickly approaching future where we’ll need to decide on new ROI metrics specifically designed for different non-traditional media.

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