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BMW vs. Mercedes. A strategic assessment

BMW and Mercedes are included in the Automobile case study.

BMW vs. Mercedes. A strategic assessment. Brands entering Second Life do so for different reasons. Some do it just for the PR (not an ideal strategy). Some do it because in many cases they have to be there (global tech sector companies) and others do it because it’s a strategic fit in terms of the target markets they position themselves towards.

Automobile brands (as this timelime shows) have been very quick to go virtual – for good reason – the audience profile of residents in SL closely matches their real world footprint. Both BMW and Mercedes recognised the value in attempting to leverage their brands in SL. This article uses the 7 Point plan for marketing in Second Life to compare how well these two companies strategically placed themselves into the virtual world.

At face value, examining the traffic these two brands have recently received to their islands, its extremely clear which company has been most successful.

BMW traffic: 319 visitors

Mercedes traffic: 4,348 visitors

Mercedes has generated over twelve times the traffic. So why is that? The Seven Point plan can explain this. Marks out of five are given to each company based on how well they meet each criteria.
Continue reading →

29 Jun

Munich City


Munich City. The trend of using Second Life to re-create real world destinations shows no signs of slowing down. Tourism marketing organisations wishing to learn more about this trend can request the K Zero case study on Tourism here.

The latest project comes from Germany and is Virtual Munich. The centre of the city is being built and matched against a 2D street plan. Adopting similiar business models to Dublin and Galveston Island, the plan behind this project is to rent out space on the island commercially and possibly residentially.

Continue reading →

27 Jun

Wimbledon goes virtual


Wimbledon goes virtual. IBM is again showcasing the concept of bring live sports data into virtual environments, this time with Wimbledon. As IBM provides all the technology for scoring, content presentation etc for the real version of Wimbledon, it makes sense in this context to bring it into Second Life.


The venue itself (here’s the SLurl) features live data from matches showns on electronic screens. Of more interest is the data outputted from the Hawkeye system. This is the technology that judges line calls and the position of the ball on the court. On the virtual court, play is re-created using this data. The Eightbar blog has more information about this project.
But taking a step back from this, is Second Life the right kind of application for game re-creation? Continue reading →

23 Jun

Mondi Virtuali


Mondi Virtuali. Despite being the only non-Italian on the speaker list at Mondi Virtuali, fortunately a good proportion of the audience at this one day conference in Turin spoke English. The presentation itself can be viewed over on Slideshare.

The over-booked conference covered a wide range of topics surrounding virtual world business, from avatar management and property services, through to academic uses and media coverage. The event itself was simulcasted with a virtual stage in SL and residents watching a live video stream taken from the auditorium. Building on this theme of integration, during the Q&A session we also fielded questions directly asked from virtual attendees. Continue reading →

23 Jun

First examples of integrated marketing for Second Life


First examples of integrated marketing for Second Life. In the 7 Point plan for marketing in Second Life, the importance of cross-promotion is identified and discussed. As real-world companies and brands begin to promote their virtual presences ‘out of world’, we will see more examples of integrated marketing techniques used to drive traffic in.

For Metabrands, this is not a new phenomenon and why should it be? Using combinations of media channels to support a singular campaign objective is a tried and testing marketing tool. An example of Metabrand integrating marketing in shown below – a (virtual) print ad for Casu Capra, a mens clothing store in Second Life, published in the Avastar.

One of the first examples of integrated marketing promoting Second Life is Microsoft Visual Studio. This article provides an assessment and explanation of Visual Studio Island. Microsoft have used online advertising (banner ads) to communicate and promote their presence in Second Life, to good effect, across a range of category specific websites. Here’s the banners.

Continue reading →

A key moment for Metabrands?

A key moment for Metabrands?: Products created purely for virtual world consumption, Metabrands, are a key growth area in Second Life.

This is driven by a soon to emerge trend by real world brands to realise that virtual world revenues will not be created by simply re-creating real world products. Instead, virtual world brand values (and subsequently real world) will be enhanced by creating products specifically designed for metaverse usage.


Media attention and other coverage is currently being directed at Elexor Matador Jewelry, an in-world creator and store owner (here’s the Slurl). She is selling ten limited edition unofficial Cartier Himalia jewelry sets at L$10,000 each (?Ǭ£20 / $38) – signicantly higher than normal pricing levels in Second Life. Similiar products in the store retail at the L$250.

Continue reading →

17 Jun

Exploring Metabrands: Mystitool


Exploring Metabrands: Mystitool. Starting this series of examining Metabrands in Second Life, the first purely virtual brand under the spotlight is called Mystitool.

Interestingly, unlike a lot of the products available to purchase in SL, Mystitool is itself virtual – you don’t really see it. It’s operated via a HUD (a heads up display) placed in the main application window. So, Mystitool is a virtual virtual brand.

Think of Mystitool as your Swiss Army knife for Second Life, or maybe Batman’s Utility Belt. It’s an application that sits quietly in the background during in-world visits that quickly and easily enables a variety of useful tasks (in a useful if you’re in a virtual world type way) to be performed.

Importantly, these tasks are only of use to people when they are in Second Life – a key attribute for Metabrands. So, what does Mystitool do? Here’s some of the features:

  • Teleport history: access to your last 36 teleports
  • Avatar scanner: proximity alerts for residents close-by
  • Favourite locations: quick access to 45 places you like to visit
  • Quick rez: allows instant creation of chairs/tables or any other object
  • URL catcher: stores all URLs mentioned during chat

and many others.

The Mystitool story

Behind every brand is a person, and the person behind Mystitool is a resident called Mystical Cookie. Interestingly she never expected or planned to get involved in SL until she realised she could build and create things, objects, and eventually products in SL. The ability to be creative was the driving motivator. Mystitool came about after buying her first plot of land and learning a few scripting techniques. As she continued to teach herself techniques in SL and having to use commands over and over again, she realised it would be useful to have instant access to scripts and other little programmes to have her life easier. In April 2006, Mysti started to create the application, so to get it to the level of functionality it has today has taken 10 months of continual development. Continue reading →

16 Jun

Coldwell Banker – looking out for the newbies


Coldwell Banker – looking out for the newbies. US-based real estate company Coldwell Banker is using Second Life as a way not only to position its brand in a virtual world but also offer a service dedicated to the residents living in it – virtual land services.

The company has bought major tranches of land in SL and is making it available (for buy or rent). The important aspect here though is the fact that they are offering the land at below market value. A good move? Well, land is a backbone to the economy in Second Life and is often very difficult to obtain, so this service is extremely useful for people wanting property in SL and at the same time positions the Coldwell Banker brand positively. So yes, a good move. Continue reading →

Virtual Ozzy Osbourne spotted at Playboy

Virtual Ozzy Osbourne spotted at Playboy: After a teaser campaign that created a lot of interest in the metaverse space Playboy has now opened their virtual mansion in Second Life.

The venue opened with a party (obviously) and the island is geared towards encouraging multimedia transactions into various Playboy websites.

This may not be a venue you would perhaps want to visit from work – it’s got a mature rating and most people there do seem to be wearing very little. Of course, you could always convince your boss (or IT department) that visiting the virtual Playboy mansion is in fact a research exercise into leveraging real world media into virtual worlds. Let me know how that goes.

One person who seemed keen to check out the launch is Ozzy Osbourne – or at least his 3D virtual self.

Continue reading →

Visit Mexico and Chichen Itza

Visit Mexico and Chichen Itza. May saw several tourist related organisations entering SL. Here’s the latest – it’s part of a marketing push by Visit Mexico promoting Chichen Itza, an ancient site in Mexico. This landmark is currently in the running for the competition to name the new Seven Wonders of the World. Maybe we need to have a Seven Wonders of the Virtual World competition as well.


This project highlights the benefits of using a virtual world platform such as Second Life tactically as part of a tourism marketing project. The main feature, the pyramid has been constructed to a very high degree of accuracy. I’d never heard of this destination before, but now, I not only know about it, I can see it and even go inside it. That’s a key aspect is using metaverses for marketing – the ability to put people actually in the venue or destination. Organisations interested in learning more about virtual world tourism marketing can reqeust the K Zero case study ‘Tourism’ – here.

Commenting on the launch, Lopez Menu (CEO of the Mexican Tourist Board) was quoted as saying: Continue reading →

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