Thesis: In-Game Advertising

While I'm working on fixing this space, here's a link to the thesis (pdf). Other useful links:

Amazon Exec on Virtual World Shopping

Jeff Barr, web services evangelist at Amazon: "You can imagine a Second Life build where you have a concert or a musician that’s just done a live performance, or maybe an author who has done a book reading. Just as you’d walk out of a venue in real life and buy a book or a T-shirt or a CD, now you have the same ability in the virtual world — it’s contextual commerce. People love to do things that stay within the metaphor. So if you can say in character and if you’re essentially doing your shopping in avatar scale, that seems to maintain the quality of the experience." -- Reuters Earlier: Harvard Business Review: Are You Ready for E-tailing 2.0?

Nissan Puts Sentra Into Second Life

As promised last week, Nissan has just unveiled a Second Life extension of its campaign for Sentra. Here's the location's SL URL, and here are more details from Giff at Electric Sheep. I spent a few minutes on the sim before it went down as developers were apparently adding final touches, but here's what I saw:
A giant vending machine with very realistic action. The machine dispenses Sentras.
The car itself. Apparently customizable (although I am yet to figure how exactly) and driveable (ditto).
A decorative public bathroom. Haven't seen one before in SL, although this one was closed. Nice touch. There's also a driving course and a giant loop, but then the sim crashed so I don't have any pics.

Nielsen To Track Video Games

"Nielsen Media Research on Wednesday announced an electronic rating service to track who is playing what game. The data will be collected from the same 10,000 sample households used for Nielsen's television ratings. Subscribers such as advertisers and video game makers will get a weekly ratings reports and charts showing the most popular games, as well as information about the type of console and the genre of the game. Jeff Herrmann, vice president of Nielsen's wireless and interactive services division, said he expects the system will drive advertising investment and help convert video game advertising from discretionary to essential." -- AP, press release

IHT: Nissan Readies Entry into Second Life

"Meanwhile, Nissan is starting a promotion for its Sentra that allows Second Lifers to get their own digital versions of the car out of a gigantic vending machine and drive them around. Much of this is likely to be covered for the outside world by the news outlets CNET and Reuters, which now have reporters embedded full-time in the virtual realm." International Herald Tribune, "Virtual worlds are moving toward commercial reality", Richard Siklos, October 18, 2006

NY Times on Second Life, Outs Prok

"A Virtual World but Real Money", Richard Siklos, NY Times, October 19, 2006. NY Times does a large article on Second Life, which just passed the 1M registrations mark. Nothing you don't already know if you follow the space, but here's a nice thought that we come across more and more often: "The sudden rush of real companies into so-called virtual worlds mirrors the evolution of the Internet itself, which moved beyond an educational and research network in the 1990’s to become a commercial proposition — but not without complaints from some quarters that the medium’s purity would be lost." Then there's a discussion of the new concern that real companies' expansion into SL is akin to globalism in the RL. The article quotes Prokofy Neva and a reply by Philip Rosedale: Prokofy: "The next phase will be they try to compete with other domestic products — the people who made sneakers in the world are now in danger of being crushed by Adidas." "Mr. Rosedale says such concerns are overstated, because there are no advantages from economies of scale for big corporations in Second Life, and people can avoid places like Nissan Island as easily as they can avoid going to Nissan’s Web site. There is no limit to what can be built in Second Life, just as there is no limit to how many Web sites populate the Internet." Speaking of Prokofy Neva, the article has his (well, hers) real name and picture.

Nivea Gets Products Into Splinter Cell: Double Agent

"Nivea Does Video Game Tie-In with 'Splinter Cell'" October 16, Enid Burns, ClickZ. The game is brand new, so no good screenshots yet. Quotes from the article: "Nivea's first foray into in-game product placement injects its products into the covert world of Sam Fisher, the spy in UbiSoft's "Splinter Cell: Double Agent." The media buy includes product integration, static and dynamic placements, plus out-of-game ads. The marketing program features products from both Nivea and its partner in shaving, Philips Norelco, in a game space hotel bathroom. Beiersdorf agency RDA International conceived the creative to integrate with the game's themes. The in-game media buy [...] extends across online and offline channels. Nivea created a microsite, thegoodside.com to which all ads in the game and the Internet link. It offers information on Nivea products; Philips Norelco products using Nivea creams[.] Offline tie-ins include inserts in each retail box of the game which hypes the sweepstakes. The company also bought a print ad in the game's strategy guide published by Prima. The creative features a bottle of after shave made to look like a hand grenade with the message 'Balms away.'"

Hijacking Brand Space

The title here is a bit too dramatic, but it does illustrate a potentially much larger problem than the glitch at the Sun's new pavilion (it opened today in SL with a press conference; Millions of Us has more details and pics). After everybody had left, someone dropped a couple of betting balls on the premises, apparently counting on the post-event traffic. Earlier, Second Life Liberation Army picketed the American Apparel store to attract attention to its cause.

Industry Press Warms Up to In-Game Ads

Judging by the growing number of media clippings on the subject, I'm afraid in-game ads are turning into the next shiny thing. "Agency Avatars," AdWeek, October 9, 2006, Eleftheria Parpis. Quote from Leo's chief creator Mark Tutssel: "This is right on the edge of a new space." "Virtual Worlds: The Next Realm in Advertising?" Brand Channel, Bill Nissim, undated (Sept 2006?) "Video Games Now a Social Experience," Ad Age, Gavin O'Malley, October 5, 2006 "Leo Burnett Buys Space in Virtual World," Ad Age, Jeremy Mullman, September 28, 2006 "Advergaming: You Got It," Business Week, David Radd, October 10, 2006

Sun, Aloft, BBH Offices in Second Life

I had problems with posting pictures on this blog over the weekend, so I had to move my write-ups on SL's new branded spaces over to AdLab. Here's what you missed: