Second Life — From a PR Perspective

I don’t play Second Life but I understand the appeal. I enjoy simulation games like The Sims 2, but I understand they aren’t quite the same thing.

To me, I think it’s crazy to do PR and advertising on a video game — in a virtual world. I mean, there are plenty of PR opportunities on Second Life. For example, Obama is sporting his campaign and even the American Cancer Society is getting involved, creating a virtual walkathon Relay for Life. A virtual walkathon? Does that even make sense?

According to this LA Times article, it seems that Second Life isn’t what it used to be. However, it’s obvious that Second Life is still making an impact if Obama is putting his campaign in this virtual world.

In my opinion, Second Life has a very particular audience. None of my friends have a Second Life account; there are many people who aren’t involved with this game. If a company wants to market to people on Second Life, they should only do so if trying to reach this certain gamer audience.

I hear about companies creating virtual Second Life stores and then quitting because they don’t get any “business.” It’s true that Second Life money can be transferred into real money, but this isn’t why people create a Second Life company. They are trying to expand their brand name and reach a different audience. This may make sense for companies and people that are trying to reach a broad audience, like the Obama campaign. This works for him especially well beause he has people working on his team with the time and money to maintain that marketing strategy. However, if your audience isn’t the small audience of Second Life (or you aren’t trying to obtain this audience) don’t even bother creating an account. Time and effort could be spent so much better with a different approach but this is completely up to the company and its objectives.


5 Responses to Second Life — From a PR Perspective

  1. caitlinsinkey says:

    I agree with what you are saying. Especially about companies should only be using Second Life as a way to reach that certain public. Not as a way to make money– which I don’t even understand how that works. I find it intriguing that Obama is using it for his campaign. He is reaching out to every form of publics. Cool.
    Second Life has never really made a lot of sense to me though, but I guess it’s not my cup of tea!

  2. michellelynn85 says:

    Using Second Life has a tactic is pretty interesting. A lot of research would have to be done to make sure you are going to reach your target audience this way, otherwise you are just wasting time.

  3. a1979shakedown says:

    Could you please do a “First Life – From a PR Perspective” post? I really think it would supplement this post.

  4. Pingback: Did Facebook help Obama win the election? « Think Write Now

  5. ninouye says:

    Thanks for all your comments! I haven’t heard much more about companies using Second Life for marketing and PR, but I am definitely keeping an eye out in the news for any more Second life happenings. If I see anything interesting, I’ll be sure to write a blog post all about it.

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