Friday, June 30, 2006

Second Life for Dummies

TrendWatching's recent trend newsletter is all about Second Life; well, virtual worlds. In case you forgot what Second Life is, check out my posts on Electric Sheep and Second Life. Reindeer has been a big proponent of bringing brands into Second Life since we first became a part of the world. There are enormous opportunities for brands to connect with early adopters, opinion leaders and trend setters by creating consumer-centric, entertaining promotions inside Second Life. But, as TrendWatching points out, brands have been reticent to jump in.

This newsletter is a good piece on what is truly "revolutionary" (I am not a fan of this word) about virtual worlds like Second Life and why brands should get involved. Many trend-folk use impressive words like YOUniversal branding, Brand You, Minipreneur, Insperiences, and TRYvertising to describe it.

In fact, it isn't all that revolutionary or surprising for anyone with an understanding of the human psyche. Humans like the feeling of control. We want to feel in control of ourselves and our surroundings.

Most importantly, we want to feel in control of our destiny - Buddhism, Wicca, Islam...etc. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is basic psychology. Second Life, and other MMOGs, have brilliantly addressed this need for control by creating spaces where people can have complete control over their interaction, development, commitment, social network and time. It's especially attractive for younger people who don't have these types of freedoms in real life yet. It is cheap, easy to use, constantly running, and always different. The net result is that trend setting teens are flocking to Second Life and are spending hours each day engaged with its content.

So why haven't brands flocked to Second Life the way they should have? TrendWatching is equally confused:
What's somewhat surprising is that so few brands are really jumping in with both feet, even though the conditions are very favourable. Online worlds exist, consumers are living in them, they don't mind brands joining in (to a certain degree, of course) and a host of firms and agencies are ready to assist newcomers.
Well, the word is getting out and brands are beginning to get involved. Things will get a lot hairier over the next two years in Second Life as brands do like sheep and follow the leader. Increased clutter will result in residents that are harder to reach than they are now.

So, in anticipation of this growth, why not call Reindeer and find out how your brand can get involved in Second Life?


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