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Scion, Whyville and virtual loans

Scion, Whyville and virtual loans. In April of this year, Toyota with its Scion brand entered the tween virtual world of Whyville. And, whilst the majority of brands that have entered the metaverse space decided to choose the older demographics of Second Life, this initiative of targeting younger segments appears to have worked well.

Accordingly to this New York Times article, the term ‘Scion’ had been used over 78,000 times in (obviously monitored) online chats. The overall traffic to the Scion venue in Whyville was also encouraging, with over 33,000 visits. Compare this to reasonably comparitive metrics for automobile brands in Second Life and the business case for younger virtual worlds starts to look compelling.

Whyville is positioned as a ‘Social Learning’ environment for the 8 – 15 age group and along these lines, Toyota Financial Services (TFS) recently announced the launch of ‘Scion Solutions’ in Whyville.


So what does this mean? It means that Whyvillians can now take out virtual loans with Toyota if they have insufficient clam balances (the in-world currency) to purchase the virtual cars outright. Scions in Whyville start from 15,000 clams, increasing up to 35,000 for a fully-loaded version.

Continue reading →

21 Aug

Beastie Boys live in There


Beastie Boys live in There. That’s live as in appearing in real-time as opposed to living in There, just in case you were wondering. As part of their recently agreed partnership, Capitol Music Group and brought The Beastie Boys in-world on Monday night to hang-out with the residents. Other planned event sclude Korn, Yellowcard and Lily Allen.

Commenting on the partnership Michael Wilson, CEO of Makena Technologies said: Continue reading →

21 Aug

Exploring Metabrands: Amaretto


Exploring Metabrands: Amaretto. Lux Yao is a metabrand owner. She owns the women’s fashion line Amaretto (SLurl). In this series of exploring Metabrands, K Zero asked Lux some questions to get an understanding of her brand.

1. When was Amaretto created and what prompted you to start?

Amaretto was opened on Easter of this year. I had been flirting with the idea of starting my own store, when I found storefronts for rent in the Barcelona del Oeste sim. Before that, I had looked in other places, but never felt they were right. I rented a shop right away, without a single design in my inventory, and promised to open in 30 days.

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21 Aug

HiPiHi announces global strategy


HiPiHi announces global strategy. The Chinese 3D virtual world HiPiHi announced its global strategy on 20th August 2007 in Singapore?جº?íand has confirmed their strategic investors, including ngi group. Reported on .

3D Internet and virtual worlds are foreseen to be the next generation of Internet. HiPiHis global strategy is definitely a timely response to this forthcoming revolution. It aims to boost the ecosystem of the 3D virtual world and establish a world-wide collaboration in this market. Continue reading →

15 Aug

Real advertising for Metabrands

Luxury Brands, Metabrands, Strategic Marketing

Real advertising for Metabrands. As someone that used to run an ad agency, I’m particularly interested in the concept of virtual goods advertising. After all, (just like in the real world), companies rarely sell their products without promoting them first.

In Second Life, and undoubtedly other forthcoming worlds with economies, people (will) create Metabrands and merchandising platforms (such as shops) to sell them in. And again, just like in the real world, products span a very wide range of categories.

One sector which is probably the largest in fiscal and transaction terms is fashion. And, a trend observed has been created by the emergence of specialist media publications to cater to specialist interests. A great example of this is Second Style magazine.

For any media planners/buyers out there, the CPM’s for this type of publication are excellent, but more about Second Style in the near future as this post is about advertising.

So, what outlets like this and others like The Avastar have created is a platform for advertising into tightly defined audiences. Below are some examples of recent adverts in these publications. What’s important to point out here is the art direction – it’s an extremely high standard and comfortable at a higher standard than you would see in a lot of other real world publications.

But hang on a second, these adverts are real world. They are magazines/newspapers available in-world but also downloadable as PDFs from their website. The line is starting to blur…..

Read more about Metabrands here. Continue reading →

15 Aug

Phat Cats, phat traffic

Luxury Brands, Metabrands, Music

Phat Cats, phat traffic. Although not the single most important metric when measuring the performance of activities in virtual worlds, traffic/footfall, i.e. visitors, is still an important statistic because it indicates the popularity of a venue.

Recent posts have shown how music is an integral part of the virtual world experience and creating a shift away from listening the music privately to enjoying genre-based music with others. The Phat Cats Romantic Ballroom is a great example of creating a genre-based venue in a virtual world with music (jazz) acting as the catalyst for popularity – Phat Cats is consistently one of the top twenty most frequented venues in Second Life.

So, this place is popular because it facilitates two things – dancing and music and is an example of how virtual worlds are used in a social connection sense, in this content with the ability to slow-dance with your partner. And for those of you that think this is a pretty strange thing to be doing in Second Life, I suggest you click here and see how popular it really is.

Continue reading →

15 Aug

Mercedes Benz driving, of a different kind


Mercedes Benz driving, of a different kind. Mercedes has just launched virtual golf over on Mercedes Benz island.

Now, virtual golf in Second Life is not a new idea, but nevertheless, it makes sense for Mercedes Benz to use an initiative like this. I don’t have any hard and fast statistics on the correlation between MB drivers and golfers, but I’d bet my M Class and pitching wedge that it’s pretty high.

So, this is an exercise in further building the SL community of Mercedes Benz fans by offering activities complementary to the overall Mercedes experience.

You play golf via the HUD and receive a branded golf bag (of course), some clubs and a natty outfit. It remains to be seen if they hold any competitions, but expect this to happen sometime in the near future. And, the winner will receive a brand new real C Class – just kidding. Continue reading →

15 Aug

Latest Playstation Home video ‘outside’

Videos / Machinima

Latest Playstation Home video ‘outside’. It’s in Japanese, but shows for the first time exterior

15 Aug

The ‘4 C’s’ for Playstation Home


The ‘4 C’s’ for Playstation Home. Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival, Jamie Macdonald from SCEE was on the panel for the ‘Beyond Social Gaming’ session.

Sony is realising that the ability for people to create content in virtual worlds is a driving force for engagement. It’s also a useful way to resonate into older demographics, as this post explains.

Macdonald expressed Sony’s views on how social gaming will affect the vrtual world marketplace:

“There is a large untapped market for entertainment experiences for groups of friends and cross-generational groups. The term at the time I used was ‘Parlor games for the 21st century’, which now seems impossibly quaint….

….Users now are not just passive users of creative entertainment but they now expect to be able to customise content. They are also more receptive to a commercial relationship as well.”

He then went on to explain the 4 C’s related to engagement: Continue reading →

Scion goes There(.com)

Scion goes There(.com). In a similiar move to Nissan, Toyota has broadened its reach in the metaverse space by taking the Scion into another world, this time


Here’s a post about The Scion presence in Second Life, Scion City.

Michael Wilson, CEO of Makena Technologies is quoted (via their press release) as saying: Continue reading →

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