My Avatar is Pressuring Me to Switch Phone Companies

[Lawrence Lessig Does A Virtual
Book Tour in Second Life]

Regina at we-make-money-not-art does a nice condensation of an article that recently appeared in Harvard Business Review on Marketing to Avatars. She quotes:

“The strong involvement of Second Life (and other virtual worlds)’s residents with their virtual environment (from personalized avatars to virtual businesses, scheduled celebrity book signings, etc.) constitutes a dream marketing venue. Commerce is already an integral part of the game. Residents spend—in Linden dollars—the equivalent of $5 million a month on transactions for in-world products and services. Introducing real-world brands is just a logical step.

“Whom do marketing efforts target? The members who gave their credit card numbers to register for the game—or their avatars? If the real-world human controls the real-world wallet, the avatar represents a different “shadow” consumer, one able to influence its creator’s purchase of real-world products and conceivably make its own real-world purchases in the virtual world.”

Read her condensed version.

Read the full HBR piece.