online advertising in an online world

See advertising in and buy virtual or real products on an online MMORPG (massively multiplayer role-playing game). That is, see the Adidas ads in Second Life and buy the Adidas shoes for your avatar. Oh, and buy a pair in the real world too. The physical world of advertising meets online games.

The sudden rush of real companies into so-called virtual worlds mirrors the evolution of the Internet itself, which moved beyond an educational and research network in the 1990’s to become a commercial proposition — but not without complaints from some quarters that the medium’s purity would be lost.

The medium’s purity?? Advertising is an instance of the real world?? This article drips with unacknowledged irony.

I’m waiting for Sony ads in World of Warcraft.

Also, this caught my eye, the fear of competition from large, well-financed corporations:

In her second life, Ms. Fitzpatrick’s digital alter-ego is a figure well-known to other participants called Prokofy Neva, who runs a business renting “real estate” to other players. “The next phase,” she said, “will be they try to compete with other domestic products — the people who made sneakers in the [SeondLife] world are now in danger of being crushed by Adidas.”

Perhaps she’s in danger of competition from ReMax or Century 21. ;-)

Sometimes there’s even activism in the digital realm.

Some corporate events have been met with protests by placard-waving avatars. And there is even a group called the Second Life Liberation Army that has staged faux “attacks” on Reebok and American Apparel stores. (The S.L.L.A. says it is fighting for voting rights for avatars…)

Perhaps this will remind people to vote in the physical world as well? There is always hope that, in addition to commercial activity, some of the virtual world can seep into the real world.

One Response to “online advertising in an online world”

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