The Explorers. Marketing activity across multiple worlds
Second Life gets most of the attention from real world brands venturing into virtual world activity. But, some companies are also taking their brands into other worlds.
Why? Because different worlds have different audience profiles and just as normal (real world) media planning techniques involve targeting different types of media, the growing list of metaverses means the same can apply.
Here’s a table showing marketing activity across multiple virtual worlds. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s pretty close (and will be updated as and when).
Who’s the most adventurous marketer? Toyota, with projects involving Second Life (Scion City), There, Gaia, Whyville (Financial Services) and they’ve even used a MMOG, World of Warcraft, in some TV advertising.
What’s most interesting here is the activity in younger worlds such as Gaia and Whyville as well as the entrance of brands into worlds currently in beta – brands are realising there’s multiple options when it comes to virtual worlds. Vidal Sassoon and Intel have already announced plans to enter HiPiHi. Expect this trend to continue, particularly for tactical (sometimes fixed-length) marketing campaigns. The recent WWE campaign in Gaia is a good example of this.
This trend is also being reflected by subtle changes in the positioning of Metaverse Development Companies (MDC’s) – organisations providing in-world services to real world brands. K Zero is also seeing (and advocating) a revised focus across the spectrum of virtual worlds, with projects in development in four different metaverses.