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Two years ago, a BusinessWeek cover story about Second Life sparked a swarm of interest from real-world companies looking to advertise in Linden Lab’s user-created virtual world. Most of the early efforts were glorified 3D billboards, and so the gold rush quickly died down. But while the three largest “metaverse” ad agencies largely abandoned Second Life, more than a dozen boutique agencies are still developing virtual ad campaigns for major real-world clients in Second Life, often returning impressive results.
Why are they working where bigger campaigns failed? And what are the pros and cons of marketing in a user-created world, as opposed to other virtual worlds? The author of HarperCollins’ new book The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World takes you on an illustrated tour spanning several worlds and marketing campaigns.
I’m the author of The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins), online games editor at GigaOM.com, and write about Second Life on my own blog, New World Notes (nwn.blogs.com).