Advertising in Second Life

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It's important to understand that Linden Lab views Second Life as a platform and focuses its efforts on development and improvements of the platform. Exceptions like the Linden Department of Public Works aside, we generally don't create content or services within Second Life.

This page contains suggestions of ways to use Second Life as an advertising medium, unofficially contributed to by Residents like you.

Advertising approaches in SL

Blog coverage

One way to advertise is by simply creating a presence in Second Life and publicizing it. Many Second Life Residents are active in blogs and other Internet activities. Many companies have found their activities in Second Life generate significant mentions in web and blog postings.

Flickr images and YouTube videos are additional ways to activate buzz from Second Life.

Presence in Second Life

Some companies have found success with an ongoing presence in Second Life and driving visitors though related or unrelated events — for example, technical talks (like Intel) or concerts. The key, as with a website, is to provide fresh content that gives Residents a reason to visit and interact with you. Others have created places with activities to engage Residents (like Vodaphone and Weather Channel).

As with other properties (whether web or real-world), to be successful you'll need to promote your presence and activity to the Second Life community through group notices, event notices, articles and ads in Second Life related periodicals, or any other means appropriate.

Advertising networks in Second Life

There are a number of businesses that have built distributed advertising systems in Second Life, so you can pay by location and time to have your ad displayed. Some of the systems offer pay-per-click payments instead of time.

Active advertising in Second Life

The most difficult, but probably the most rewarding in the long-term, is to create an active presence in Second Life that drives the message or experience you're trying to promote for your product or brand. If it's a product, you can script ways for people to interact with the Second Life version of the product.

For example, while avatars don't need to eat or drink, if your product was a soft drink, you could provide a script that had people laugh and dance around whenever they took a "virtual" drink. You could also provide a hat with your logo which people could give to others, creating viral distribution of your brand. The hat could be scripted so giving it to someone opened a website or a Second Life notecard with more information about the product, or a coupon for a discount on the product.

KBtip2.png Tip: Keep in mind that advertising-focused items with practical usefulness are more effective in the long-term than "made you smile once, then got boring"-type novelties.

Pure traffic generation tools in Second Life

Sometimes the best way to advertise your brand is to simply bring people to your land and get them to experience what you have to offer once they get there. There are a number of traffic tools providers in Second Life such as the gaming network that bring visitors to your land in order to experience fun gaming content. The theory goes that it's much easier to do marketing to people while on land you own than on someone else's land.

Distributed advertising in Second Life

There are many popular venues in Second Life, from malls to clubs. Many of them will put up posters or kiosks that can distribute information, links, objects, or provide teleports to the sponsoring location for a small fee.

Person-to-person advertising

Several companies has been very successful in using avatars as a promotional vehicle. Avatars engage people in conversation and offer links to websites, coupons, or other direct followup actions. Some companies offer camping solutions at a per-lead cost.

It has been comparable or lower in cost than other media. source? The quality of leads is questionable as the effectiveness of using static camping chairs as the primary driver for Residents provides only small amounts of Linden Dollars (L$) as the draw for participation. Imax was reportedly successful with this approach.

An expanded form of person-to-person advertising can take the form of brand personification, whereas brand icons or personalities are realized in Second Life for engagement with Residents. An example of this would be Nestle Nesquik, where the Nesquik Bunny Avatar entered Second Life and attended a variety of events.

Media in Second Life

Every parcel in Second Life can incorporate media, including Shared Media audio and video streams.

You will need a reason to do that — good content, or payment, as well as publicizing your stream so Residents know about it. In addition, there are radio and TV stations in Second Life which provide streaming broadcasts. These streams can incorporate advertising, as radio and TV do in real life.


Articles about advertising in Second Life

Advertising Dos and Don'ts

Advertising networks in Second Life

These are links to companies with ad networks in Second Life. Some of these are listed in the Tools directory on the Second Life Grid website.

In-World Media and Publication, Magazines

See also