Sunday, April 22, 2007

Advertising on Second Life

"They paved paradise...and put up a parking lot."

There have been lots of articles written about Second Life. If you're into these kind of marketing, gaming, technology trends, you no doubt know about it. And, you may know that marketers like Virgin are already discovering it, opening stores in this virtual world, selling downloads, and making real money. (152 individual users made more than $5,000 in real money by doing business in Second Life in the month of March alone!)

The future of that world is crystal clear.

  • Early adopters come in and create an economy;
  • Some clever marketers see an opportunity to extend their brand into this world, many think it's funny, clever, good thinking;
  • Less clever marketers start to come in. The humor of it all goes away;
  • Every two-bit marketer finds a way to extend into Second Life, the users go away;
  • The buzz fades, the "citizenry" shrinks but doesn't disappear. Marketers go away (mostly) and Second Life continues smaller, less hyped.
It seems a little sad to me on the one hand. On the other, it seems like the natural order of things. We find a new place and we all rush there, transforming it. Just a cautionary tale for those who would make millions in their alternative universe.