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More Brands Entering Second Life

In case you haven’t visited your favourite metaverse recently, here are a few of the brands that have entered Second Life:

Coca-Cola launched its Virtual Thirst program … a design contest that solicits ideas for an in-world vending machine that dispenses, not Coca-Cola, but the ESSENCE of Coca-Cola: refreshment, joy, unity and experience. Coca-Cola also has a MySpace page and a YouTube channel to support the contest. Visit the Virtual Thirst Pavilion in-world.


Lacoste, close on the heels of L’Oreal Paris’ beauty pageant, is holding their own avatar model search.  Six avatars will be chosen to share a purse of a million Linden dollars and will pose in unique Lacoste clothing for a photo shoot.  Find out more on the Lacoste site.

Aveda and Aveda Institutes (Aveda’s design school for aspiring hair stylists and spa technicians) has partnered with a well known indigenous hair designer, Elika Tiramasu Designs (ETD), to create nine hairstyles for avatars as part of the launch of their in-world storefront. Visit Aveda in-world.


The NBA has created NBA Island where SL residents can get branded merch for their avatar, play a friendly game of HORSE, watch video streams of famous games and ultimately watch games in the arena.  The NBA has also partnered with other advertisers to sponsor different areas of the island. Visit NBA Island in Second Life.


What do you think about these initiatives?  Do any of them pique your interest as a marketer, or do you think Second Life is still an unproven platform?


  1. John
    John May 8, 2007

    Has there been a successful business opened in Second Life or as Valleywag describes it “The best Second Life business is the business of Second Life?
    Especially given the Second Life poster child (Anshe Chung Studios) supposedly seedy beginnings.

  2. Clay
    Clay May 8, 2007

    At this point, the only reason I can see Second Life being worthwhile for brands to venture into is the whole “getting in the ground floor” aspect.
    At some point in the future, there is a likelihood that Second Life will become more popular and for those brands that grew with it, there could be extra benefits. Given the resources to effectively manage a brand within Second Life, ROI doesn’t seem like a reasonable measure. There’s another problem – how do you measure success in Second Life?

  3. Kate
    Kate May 10, 2007

    @Ryan. Thanks for putting in the link. To me, the ROI depends on what you are trying to do. I would never imagine that someone like Telus, for example, is going to sell enough virtual handsets to avatars to justify a storefront. But .. are they getting product research that is valuable to them? Perhaps. So .. to me, the ROI can only be determined once you know what you’re trying to accomplish in SL.
    @John … Similar to the above answer. There have been some businesses and brands who’ve gone into SL with a specific goal and accomplished it. I think Aloft has been successful. They wanted to test a product concept and get feedback on their hotel before they built it in real life. They just reopened the hotel in SL to show how avatar feedback influenced their ultimate design. So, it seems like their goal was accomplished. Did they *make* revenue? Likely no. Did they *save* money on design decisions? Hopefully. Did they experiment as an organization with a non-traditional marketing platform and hopefully inject innovation into their organization as a result? Yes. So, again, depends on your business goals.
    @Clay … I largely agree with you. There is definitely that aspect of getting in on the ground floor. Or even just the experimentation aspect. It is highly possible that SL will not be the long-term viable 3d metaverse solution. But why not experiment with it while you can. Brands are still forgiven much when they are trying new things. Now is the time. Measurement, to me, depends on your goal. Do you want participation, exposure, buzz, revenue. Find out what you want to accomplish and figure out what success looks like. Then, you’ll know how to measure. But I think it’s different for every single brand going into SL. So, harder work. But worthwhile work!
    Thanks for the comments and feedback!

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