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31 Mar

Greenies Postcard Competition

KZero Clients

K Zero used the Greenies Kitchen as part of the L’Oreal Paris campaign (on a supersized basis) – it’s a high traffic area in SL primarily due to the uniqueness and quality of the environment. Here’s the SLurl.

Vint Falken has a post over on her blog detailing a competition in the Kitchen (on the fridge, of course) encouraging people to submit a postcard. There’s three themes to choose from (postcard, holiday and action/sports) and the best entry in each category receives L$5000.

I love this idea. It’s a new spin on a concept everyone knows and understands. Too often with virtual world marketing people try to be too clever. And having to make people understand a campaign before they can take part limits the take-up. Marketers need to understand the environment they’re working with and create low threshold campaigns that leverage that enviroment. In otherwords, do the hardwork for your audience so all they have to do is fun have and engage.

One potential problem though……the fridge is already pretty big but if the campaign is too successful they might need an even bigger one.

Here’s the Flickr group and some insight ino over-sized design in virtual worlds.

31 Mar

Brands in older worlds

Virtual Research

More explorers.

This time it’s an update on the marketing activity that’s taken place in older worlds – platforms for late teens and adults.

There has stepped up the pace a little lately and seems to be carving out a niche for introducing multi-plays – more than one brand introduced under a single campaign. Earlier this year we saw the CosmoGIRL initiative in There and their latest blast brings Acuvue and ABC’s Prom Queen brought into their village.

The virtual prom activities include:

  • Video trailers for ABC Familys original reality series, Americas Prom Queen
  • Avatar makeovers with colored contact lenses from ACUVUE?ǬÆ.
  • Virtual dance party at Club CG!
  • Photo opportunities with your avatar date on a virtual red carpet
  • Free give-away prizes, such as a virtual tiara inspired by Americas Prom Queen
  • The first ever CG! Virtual Prom Queen and King Competition on the CG! Live Stage
  • The prom after-party at the ACUVUE?Ç¬Æ OASYS?¢‚Äû¬¢ Lounge

So, other example of avatar customisation in virtual worlds. We like avatar customisation (and so do lot’s of other people). Playstation Home also has plans for avatar customisation with Dress, so it will be interested to see which brands go Home. The latest update of the Home beta also provides greater control and options for avatar clothing.

31 Mar

IMVU takes a beating on Virtual World News

Teenage+ Worlds

….Comments on comments.

It’s good to see the level of blog comments picking up on Virtual Worlds News. There must be an expo going on or something?!

What’s not so good, if you’re IMVU, is the feedback from readers as a result of a recent data release (relating to registered account and active users) and a statement that it’s finally coming out of beta after four years. This news story prompted probably the liveliest debate (albeit rather one-sided) seen on the site.

What’s the beef? Continue reading →

31 Mar

Brands in kids and tween worlds

The Explorers series continues with an update on the brands marketing across the spectrum of virtual worlds.

Rather than show all worlds and brands together, this analysis is now split between grown-up platforms and worlds catered towards kids and tweens. The table below shows kids and tweens.

What’s of note to point out here is the success of Stardoll in introducing real world brands from the clothing and accessory sectors. Their Starplaza splits out these companies by Fashion, Beauty and Sparkles and includes Heidi Klum, DKNY, Volie and a recent partnership with Fox Walden for the Nim’s Island movie.

Continue reading →

Safer Children in a Digital World – The Byron Report

News fresh out of the UK today is the Bryon Report – an in-depth assessment of the challenges facing government and industry to make the digital world safer for children. This review was commissioned by the PM (Mr Brown) himself and produced by Dr Tanya Bryon, a Clinical Psychologist.

Although the report focuses more on console gaming (key recommendation is to overhaul the video game rating), there is a dedicated section for Online Gaming, covering off virtual worlds and MMORG’s. This section breaks out the risks associated with kids interacting with online environments but also details several benefits of this emerging sector.

Risks associated with online gaming

  • Content.Both static (commercial developers) and UGC.
  • Contact. Giving away personal details.
  • Conduct. Abusive or threatening behavior. Continue reading →
26 Mar

Overview presentation of L’Oreal Paris campaign phase one

At the upcoming vBusiness Expo I’ll be delivering a presentation on taking real world brands into virtual worlds. Part of this presentation will of course refer to the recent L’Oreal Paris campaign in SL – phase one.

In the meantime, here’s an overview presentation of phase one, a campaign without a branded (desert) island or fanfare press releases.

SlideShare | View | Upload your own

24 Mar

vBusiness Expo video


A nice overview video for the upcoming vBusiness Expo event running Apr 24 – 27.

24 Mar

Calling all Virtual Worlds Marketers…

The guys and girls over at Clever Zebra have been extremely busy lately preparing for their first official launch and the release of vBusiness Central – a dedicated resource for business in Second Life.

Clever Zebra have ambitious plans in SL and vBusiness Central is set to include a purpose-built orientation portal, a shopping district and a year round calendar of business-focused events.

The first event is planned for April 24-27 and will be the launch of vBusiness Expo – a bi-annual programme that includes panels/discussions, exhibitions, workshops, lectures/presentations, mixed reality events, technology demonstrations, skills training and networking opportunities. CZ has an overview video here.

Four key areas are being addressed in the first Expo… Continue reading →

Virtual worlds 2010 – 2015 Part Two: Live Sports sector


Crystal (foot, base, tennis, etc) ball time, focusing first on how virtual worlds and the sports sector could be in the next five to seven years.

But first, a recap on the current state of play in terms of virtual worlds and sports. In this context, this is more about real world sports augmented into virtual environments than pure MMOG’s with their own game functionality.


The sports virtual world category can be classified as ‘vertical worlds‘ (terminology created by K Zero), referring to a metaverse created towards specific genres or interests. And there’s several of these worlds already in development. For football (soccer), we have Football Superstars which is currently in closed beta with a launch date expected over the summer. Another sports world is Shot Online tailored for golf and another called Empire of Sports (in open beta), loosely based around some olympic events. Furthermore, Whyville creators Numedeon recently announced the launch of SportsBLOX, ‘the first vertical interest virtual world catering to sports fans of all types’. Hot off the press is another world, this time skateboard-based called Tech Deck Live, launching this summer.


And let’s not forget the activity taken place inside Second Life related to sports. IBM has done some interesting work alongside their technology association with the tennis grandslams, most recently with the Australian open. Other sports have also been represented in Second Life, such as Major League Baseball, the America’s Cup and the NBA.


But this is now, so what about the future?



I think the sports sector in terms of future metaverse development falls into one of three categories, namely spectator interaction for live events, spectator interaction for past events and virtual sports participation.


1. Spectator interaction for live events Continue reading →

20 Mar

Lessons in launching virtual worlds

It started out promisingly with an email from the PR agency for Vizwoz, a virtual world for kids (yes, another one) inviting me to their VIP launch event.


We would like to invite you to have a VIP sneak preview of the next big virtual community before it launches this Friday 21 March 2008. Set to become the most dynamic virtual world, this online gaming experience offers entertainment, interaction and advanced game play through new and innovative technology.

This Thursday (20 March) at 17:00pm (GMT) you will get the chance to meet the founder, Dan Laurence, within his unique online creation who will give you a virtual tour with a difference in the comfort of your own computer.

To enter the virtual world for this exclusive experience, you need a VIP access code so please RSVP to us asap and then see for yourself, virtual reality in its most realistic form.

So clearly with phrases such as ‘the next big virtual community’, ‘Set to become the most dynamic virtual world’ and ‘virtual reality in its most realistic form’ Vizwoz sounded like a pretty exciting place. My excitement grew further when I checked out the countdown timer on the website earlier today.

So, I turned up and logged in at 4.55pm to beat the rush. First impressions, a standard 2.5d flash-based UI with click and glide avatar customisation. Ok, so what’s the differentiator here? How does this world plan to stand out from the (growing) number of MMOG’s and VW’s aimed at kids? What’s the revenue model? And where is everyone else? Continue reading →

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