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Panel on Marketing to Virtual Avatars, Part 5

part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Ariel Spoonhammer: A barrage of questions to Razor: How did the SL store get approved internally within AA? Why did you opt to sell clothes for what in SL is a significant amount of money instead of giving them away? Do you plan to advertise your store both in RL and SL? Do you think SL is the kind of place where AA's "risque" ad strategy can go even more "risque"? Razor Rinkitink: I remember when I pitched the idea to the creative team here - the people who handle our print and traditional marketing - they were totally perplexed and a little scared. But they were kind enough to give me the benefit of the doubt. And now they are very excited about the whole thing. It's been fun to see the come around. It's especially fun to see everyone creating SL accounts for the first time - the room erupts in giggles! SNOOPYbrown Zamboni: Is the ceo in here? Razor Rinkitink: Our CEO, Dov Charney, is not on SL... yet SNOOPYbrown Zamboni: He's an avatar already! Interesting character :) Cristiano Midnight: I think, speaking as a consumer, the clothing at the AA store is in line with pricing in SL, especially given the fact that you get the same item in about 20 colors. Razor Rinkitink: The price is really just a token sum. Cristiano Midnight: I think it was important for you to not just give the clothes away though, for them to have some perceived value Razor Rinkitink: Yes, indeed. If they were giveaways they would have no value. Razor Rinkitink: About the ads... Can we be more risky? I think we need to be ourselves no matter where we are. It would be odd if we went R-rated in SL and I think it would not make sense. Cristiano Midnight: I would say you are already pretty close to that, without crossing the line into full on soft porn. Razor Rinkitink: Yes (chuckles) many would say that. And some people don't like that. I appreciate that perspective. We're not for everyone. Cristiano Midnight: I'm not saying I mind it, I just don't think it can get much more risque without crossing a line that wouldn't serve you well. Hamlet Au: I would even encourage more raciness, myself, which is, after all, kind of a roleplaying experience in itself. People want fashions that are a step or two (or three, or four hundred) from what they usually wear IRL. SNOOPYbrown Zamboni: No one's talked about virtual sex appeal here yet, when that's such a big thing in rl. Razor Rinkitink: The boundaries are much broader and many things are possible, but I'm talking about maintaining a personality. Keeping the brand at the center regardless of the medium. Cristiano Midnight: Yes, Starbucks is Starbucks - you don't open up an adult version in SL called Starfucks if you are trying to maintain the brand Hamlet Au: Think American Apparel in Amsterdam, would be my advice. :) Razor Rinkitink: We are already in Amsterdam... and no brownies or ladies for hire. Ansible Berkman: Last question for today belongs to In Kenzo. In Kenzo: Good timing, too. I have a conference call in 15 minutes with a potential new partner. They know NOTHING of SL. My question regards how to explain the possibilities here in just a few words on a phone call.... Csven Concord: One word: data Hamlet Au: "Second Life is MySpace meets YouTube meets Flickr meets World of Warcraft. Get on now or be left in the dust of Internet history." Razor Rinkitink: You'll need to send them some screenshots at the very least, because any description you can dream-up will fall short. Cristiano Midnight: I think the two most compelling things that really show the potential of SL quickly are screen shots and video. I know that Linden Lab has often used Snapzilla to show off what SL is, because the pictures are often very evocative SNOOPYbrown Zamboni: "like an open-ended video game with no game, where you can build anything and connect to the web." Cristiano Midnight: I don't think you can explain SL to someone really, other than in very broad strokes, or in sort of obtuse ways. Cristiano Midnight: However, showing my mother Snapzilla, she understood what SL is at least to a degree that she could wrap her mind around it. Hempman Richard: How do you show them that there is something conceptually interesting before they freak out on the photos? Boliver Oddfellow: All I say is log in and see. Cristiano Midnight: I would say that the initial user experience is so bad that just saying "try SL" is not a compelling way to get someone to envision it. SNOOPYbrown Zamboni: At first ppl think you actually have to pretend the whole time :) Csven Concord: When I explain that to someone, I ask them if they've ever seen on the News a story with a 911 call and if they felt ... touched or affected by the voice. That's television - a passive medium - giving the viewer something less connected to them than what they'll have in here. It's difficult to comprehend, but seeing how we react to other "virtual" things helps. In Kenzo: I think SL has the potential to bridge out to TV audiences, to convert them into active participants. Razor Rinkitink: What a potential customer really wants to see and hear is a group of users around the computer who have never seen it before. The excitement it produces is amazing. As I sit here people have been gathering around with slack-jaws. Hamlet Au: Another shorthand I use: "It's like playing Legos (tm) with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world." Cristiano Midnight: Very naughty Legos. part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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rikomatic said...

Thanks for this very helpful transcript. Wish I could have been there!

Bloody "database problems".

6/23/2006 08:57:52 PM  

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