…and the life we were supposed to lead…

My mind just got blown again.  Apparently, I need to do some spelunking in the WoW and Second Life caves, because there is a lot of action there that is flying under the radar.  The stat that grabbed my attention is that Second Lifers spend about $417,000 A DAY in their virtual world.  And that smart marketers and advertisers are scarfing up the real estate to get their messages across.

Although how much need you have for new kicks is rather a moot point, when the audience is spending most of their time schlumpfed over their laptop, clicking and dragging, clicking and dragging …

For brands, Second Life is appealing because it’s a place where people
‘immerse themselves in their products’, making it ideal for getting
feedback as well as promoting products directly. Sun Microsystems,
Adidas, Reebok and American Apparel all have retail spaces and IBM held
a global alumni reunion. Starwood Hotels this week opens Aloft, its
prototype hotel; Ben Folds will play at the opening and later at Sony
BMG’s building on Media Island. The building has dedicated rooms for
Sony BMG artists and sells music downloads. MTV has built its own
Virtual Laguna Beach as an extension of the TV show Laguna Beach: The Real OC
bringing in advertisers as partners. And Nissan spent $1,250 and a
monthly $195 fee buying a virtual ‘Nissan Island’ to promote its Sentra
car. It cost far more than that to hire the developers to build the
digital cars, driving course and drivers, as well as billboards and ads
within Second Life – not to mention a giant vending machine to dispense
cars to “people.”

Second Life operator Linden Labs is doing very nicely, thank you very
much, earning most of its revenues from land rentals: rates are $20 per
acre and $195 per month. Land mass is growing at 8 percent a month and
currently stands at 60,000 acres, and brands account for five percent
of real estate sales. Linden Labs doesn’t release revenues figures but
Second Life’s parallel economy is estimated to be worth around $500,000
each day and to be growing by 15 percent monthly.

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