April 8, 2009

The circle of (second) life

The obituaries are already being written for virtual world Second Life. There was a time (not that long ago) when there was as much hype about it as there is today about Twitter and Facebook. Less than 2 years ago ad agencies were buying specialist shops who focused on marketing within these virtual experiences. Unless these brands want to market to perverts and the socially disabled then Second Life seems to have been a poor investment.

So should this be a warning about today’s obsession with social media? I think it all depends on the brand. Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” on Facebook was a very clever use of social media and the target audience was in the right place at the right time. Less than 24o thousand sacrifices were made. Or should that be “an amazing 233,906 friendships were sacrificed”? I’m sure Burger King saw it as a huge success. But how many brands are trying to be social when probably it is totally wrong for their target? Social is the new viral. Clients want to be part of the digital trend. It is up to agencies to give smart advice and not get carried away too.