i have this virtual bridge for sale in brooklyn…

Just when I thought that virtual worlds were dead a press release pops into my mailbox about, would you believe it, a new virtual world…or, rather, a strategic partnership to co-develop parallel virtual worlds.

I know what you’re thinking, why would I want multiple virtual worlds, even if they’re parallel, when even a single virtual world just isn’t a good idea?

You wouldn’t. But the brains behind RocketOn, they of the parallel virtual worlds, saw that Second Life made a lot whole lot of money for its developers even if it didn’t really do anything for the brands that jumped on the bandwagon and I imagine that they’re trying to pull the same trick with the same old bull jive.

And it is bull jive.

“RocketOn is a great way to launch and manage parallel virtual worlds,” says Michael Bellavia, CEO of Animax.  “It enables us to create rich browser-based, virtual environments anywhere on the web without a user download.  In a matter of weeks, we can literally build out a virtual space, deploy it on a website and populate it with content.”

But why?

What is it about the “rapid deployment of virtual spaces, avatars and games across any website” that will actually sell anything?




2 responses to “i have this virtual bridge for sale in brooklyn…

  1. I am on the brand side and I have a different take, having spent a bit of time speaking to the Rocketon guys.

    Here’s my two cents – say I am a clothing manufacturer Brand X. Currently, there are a number of ways in which I create awareness and market my brand, all of which have varying forms of effectiveness.

    Now, my target consumer is teens – they can identify with my brand. They are online or watching tv so those are my communication vehicles. One thing I (and I think many brands) struggle with is with the ability to attract this demographic to my site, where I can deliver my messages directly. Banner ads are quite ineffective, as we all know, especially for my demographic, where their main destinations are youtube, miniclips, myspace, facebook, etc, etc.

    My understanding (I saw this first hand) is that with Rocketon I can make virtual goods available to visitors to my site (or anywhere on the web, for that matter). If user A came to my site, they could acquire my clothing and dress up their avatar with it, defining their online identity – hence, I’ve provided a value to the consumer. Now, if the user goes around the world with my cool swag, other users may be inclined to come to my site to get their own. Even if they don’t, as user A walks around the world he is creating impressions; the knock-on is that he has the potential to drive traffic.

    Granted, the jury is out on how much virtual goods commerce I can transact – yet, as an awareness campaign, I see huge potential. We all know how [in]effective banner ads are yet we still do them. Here’s a way to create brand interaction – creating a fun, interactive value for the consumer and accomplishing brand awareness and potentially commerce for the marketer.

    As for “rapid deployment of virtual spaces, avatars and games across any website,” again, while it may not immediately create a monetization channel worth writing home about, it can create awareness/traffic. I’d rather be in a position to create some cool things in their world in a month or so with a little investment than commit a huge investment/risk in my own virtual world.

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