PostHeaderIcon Corporate in Second Life: Flop...or Flip?

Playboy LogoFunny. American Apparel came in and flopped. Several political candidates came in and flopped. Coca-cola didn't bother coming in, and succeeded.

Okay, yes Coca-cola did come in-world to Second Life. and they proclaim success. I don't know, I wasn't there. However, where I do know they are successful is in their brand name. The Coca-cola logo is all over SL. It's all over the real world, too. I know some people that actually collect Coca-cola collectibles. Well, to Coca-cola's credit, they said 'hey, go for it'.

They have openly and publicly allowed the use of the Coca-cola logo to be used by the residents of Second Life as they choose, but without relinquishing any rights. This went over well with the residents of SL in a big way. Wise move, Coke.

There are a lot of real word companies who have no idea their intellectual properties are being abused in Second Life through either misappropriation of their official logos, such as Apple, Inc. to the use of their products, such as the Deviant product line being (allegedly) completely mimicked and replicated based on real world products. (Last word I have is that another SL resident has acquired writen license and full rights for exclusive reproduction of these items inside SL, makes me wonder what Deviant will do, should a cease and desist come through.)

So along comes Playboy.

They buy and build a sim, (private region; a.k.a. Private Estate,) and build-up the buzz. Advertising throughout the blogosphere, likely also in their magazine, and through news stories in the decent SL News Blogs like New World Notes and SLNN. From what I read, it was a lackluster opening and then, as reported, deserted. And, like American Apparel, Nissan, NBC and so many others, they left it to sit. The whole "build it and they will come' idea has never, ever flown in Second Life.

People need a reason to go there. and the first reason is that there are other people there already. So, events are a prerequisite in these things. So, it turns out mPlayboy's demise in Second Life has been greatly exaggerated. it turns out that even though the real world brand is struggling, the brand inside SL is thriving. And Playboy approchaed the whole logo intellectual property thing in SL properly.

Rather than come in and demand a full take-down, leveraging Linden Lab's awesome takedown powers via DMCA, and unlike Coca-cola: simply releasing the logo into the creative commons within SL, they decided to approach all those creators in Second Life using the term and logo that is intellectually owned by the company.

And what they did was to partner with these creators. Help standardize pricing; perhaps a little marketing... I don;t know the details. But in a nutshell, Playboy to creators using Playboy I.P.: Give us a cut and you can keep-on with the logo. It is my understanding 75% or more of those approached took the deal. So, what happens is Playboy now has and maintains control of your property, namely their logo and name, the creators get official endorsement and assistance, and Playboy now has a huge marketing reach with-in SL.

Wow. This is apparently so successful that when Playboy released their financial numbers, eyebrows were popping up sudenly all over the place. Take a look at the article - it's fun read:
Playboy's Second Life sim buzzes, even as real-world brand falters
"The company has not only found success driving a steady stream of in-world traffic, but also licensing its brand to other, Second-Life only brands. By pairing with successful Second Life designers, and pricing items at an affordable price (L$150 - L$300, which is about US$1), Playboy's experiment seems to be doing well. It's a situation that has eluded many other real-world companies which have set up shop in the virtual world."
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