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    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Can a virtual world change a real brand image?

    The second life has produced quite a following. PSFK has gotten quite addicted it seems. I myself am more addicted to halo, but thats another story. 2nd life is a virtual world, which can be inhabited by 250,000 residents at any given time. It's also a great place for brands to test and research ideas and good PR, so blogs like Influx/psfk/(dare i include) lifefilter will write about them. I have to give the thought prompt here to influx who wasnted to see if American Apparel will be able to compete with local merchants who operate in Second Life or if the brand power of AA will force them out of business. Fashion is the second biggest industry in Second Life. Its not surprising considering its the most accesible form of alteration on the web and the very reason many of the people behind the screen log on. It will be intriguing to see how brands invade the medium. Will it experience growth or will it reach its limit at 250k and become the mall? Much to the way that myspace has lost some steam.
    I myself already have issues with AA. They champion themselves as progressive/ charitable cause, yet undermine this value by exploiting workers through soft-core porn advertising...Im thinking this move could damage the brand by positioning it as exploitive and somewhat unoriginal. I dont think moving online will change this. Can a virtual world change a real-life image of a brand? Clearly not if they are juxtaposing each otehr... The brand has experienced phenomenal growth though, and today's society is less cogniscent of the overtly sexual overtones. Time will tell


    Tony Walsh 7:28 PM  

    > 2nd life is a virtual world, which can be inhabited by 250,000 residents at any given time

    Just to put a finer point on the above, the number of residents online at any given time peaks around 6,500. The total number of registrants ever to sign up for Second Life is over 250k. The number of accounts that have logged in to Second Life in the last 60 days hovers around 125k.

    Linden Lab has recently lowered the bar on registrations, so the total signups should be ballooning soon, and the number of accounts active in the last 60 days should spike for a while.



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