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  Advergaming Goes Virtual  
Posted 2005-02-08 by Tony Walsh
Now that real-world advertisements are clawing their way into virtual spaces, it makes perfect sense that virtual-world businesses get into the banner-ad circuit too. Second Life resident Rathe Underthorn is bringing billboard advertisements to virtual reality, brokering deals between advertisers and publishers. Advertisers pay for scheduled deployment of ads to be distributed by a network of publishers, whose billboards display the ads to the digital denizens of Second Life. Like web-based banner ads, exposure is measurable, and prices are on a per-impression basis. It remains to be seen whether there is much interest in this new service, or, if there is interest, how residents will react to a possible upswing in virtual world marketing.

In slightly-related news, Linden Lab has begun to auction off ad slots on the Second Life web site to residents via Ebay. As with earlier Linden auctions, I wonder why Ebay, and why bother? I suppose the point of this experiment is to see what the market will bear before committing to some sort of in-world system.
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Comment posted by Tony Walsh
February 9, 2005 @ 11:36 am
Just wanted to add that I'm aware of the fact that advertising in virtual worlds by virtual businesses is not new. What's new here is a formalized distribution network and media-buying process.
Comment posted by Cienna
February 9, 2005 @ 12:46 pm
Yeah, Robin said they did not want to commit man hours to doing it in their auction system unless it worked out. It's odd though, back when they were first testing the auctions they put up two non-land items (a couple Linden Lab polo shirts I believe).

Personally I think that the 'Sponsored Links' are a bit silly, and the people who bitched enough to get it changed over from the 'employee picks' type system needed to get over themselves. Thus why I paid to advertise nothing more than a GIANT CUBE.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
February 9, 2005 @ 5:23 pm
Ah, thanks for the additional info, Cienna. I'm sorry I overlooked the whole Giant Cube thing--I remember seeing posts about it in the forums, but didn't take the opportunity to investigate.

In order to make auctioning off Sponsored Links easier, the Lindens would actually need to implement a system in Second Life. Using Ebay isn't an accurate way to gauge community adoption of a new idea. Now, if they switched land auctions (i.e. all auctions) to Ebay, then we'd be talking sense. But using two systems means that some people won't touch the new one just because it's an extra hassle.
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