Business in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

Going Viral in a Virtual World: Branding and the Undead

New World Notes reports on Bloodlines, a massive Grid-wide viral ‘game’ where participants gain points by, well, biting people.

Image: SL Bloodlines

But what’s intriguing about this, other than the complaints by merchants that their store’s customers are being accosted by roaming packs of vampires, is the mechanics of the game – and the proof, judging by the 1,500 or so participants, that creative branding isn’t, well, dead.

Bloodlines combines all the elements that brands are looking for these days:

- A ‘viral’ campaign where the distribution of the message is driven by users/consumers
- Cross-media execution, in this case ‘in-world’ activities and the Web site
- Development of ‘champions’, helping to target and encourage ‘raving fans’
- A powerful story and association
- The ability to ‘drill down’ into deeper engagements with the brand (by purchasing products, for example)
- Social networking.

All Bloodlines is missing is a brand sponsor. And maybe a few other cross-platform links.

Loco Pocos is another example of brilliant branding. While not as viral as Bloodlines, it combines an incredible in-world build and activities with a Web site, group announcements, and now machinima. They recently announced that they’ve topped 6,000 visitors:

“Not only this, but Loco Pocos as a whole has exploded in just the 3 short months since it launched on July 9th with only 5 avatars and a handful of accessories. We now boast over 30 avatars, around 100 accessories, a machinima series, over 6,000 visitors and a fan group that just toppled 300!”

Yet another in-world brand with a community, cross-platform integration, and a story. All it needs is a sponsor, maybe, and a movie deal. :)

Branding in Second Life isn’t dead. It just isn’t being done by brands.

(Colgate and co., perhaps, excepted).


speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

*Required Fields

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.