Better Ways to Spend Marketing Bucks than Second Life

Wired and Clickz recently exposed what should have been obvious from the get-go: sponsoring corporate “land” in Second Life is a plain-and-simple waste of money. If you’re a marketer and you’re trying to act less like a sheep and do something that actually works, consider these two ideas:
– Sponsor busy sites such as Curse Gaming whenever World of Warcraft has a patch day or there’s a speculation burst about the next expansion (“you mean I need to grind to level 80 then do a long quest just for the pleasure or grinding through another 20 levels with a reroll? Awesome (Not)”). Anyway, this stuff is popular and if you sponsored the sites to keep them up-and-running through burst traffic, you’d get a lot of goodwill from players. Bonus points if you cram a WoW reference in your ad copy, e.g. “Warlocks are not imba, they just drink Coke Zero.” (You can see it’s a modern ad because it’s making an obviously false claim with a wink to the audience. Warlocks are over-powered.)
– Work with the Google Earth community to geotag the world. This stuff is seriously useful for travelers and people who relocate. Are you a nature buff going to Latin America? You’ll find a layer to add to the map of Chile to see where rare tree species can be seen. Kitesurf is your thing? There’s a layer for spots worldwide. On top of the obvious stuff such as mapping retail stores, you can help provide lasting values to plenty of different demographics/phychographics/however you like to slice and dice people. Come on, activity meets location, that’s a lot of customer segmentation right there.
But can you trust most marketers to show enough self-restraint and manners not to spoil these environments? That would go against historical trends for sure.

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