It’s been said many times that LL are pretty weak when it comes to promoting Second Life through advertising. Like their attempts at PR promotion for the platform (as opposed to the company), their approach is both lax and sporadic, rather than being proactive and focused.
When you consider that anyone with an interest in virtual worlds can barely flip a web page without hitting yet another ad for IMVU, you have to wonder at how LL can be so reticent to get out there and aggressively promote the platform on a continuous basis. Lets face it; when does SL tend to hit the headlines? Either when the Lab is facing a lawsuit (or when users are hitting each other over the head with legal claims such as the bunnies vs. horses situation) or when some erstwhile pundit is predicting the “imminent” demise / sell-off of the platform.
As readers will know, I’ve found LL’s lack of willingness to actively promote Second Life pretty frustrating over the years, and have commented on this a number of times – including quite recently.
I’m not alone in thinking this. Earlier today, Crap Mariner tweeted:
Linden Lab needs to make some ads like this for Second Life:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC6nkqGEBBw&feature=autofb
It’s super advert. It prompted me to reply:
Or #LL should work with the machinima folk for suitable ads: say a competition; top 3 promoted on YT, SL.com, etc.
Which I think got us both thinking, as Crap followed up with a blog of his own even as I set out to blog here.
Next month is Machinima Month, in which the platform’s burgeoning machinima community is encouraged to participate, and to “encourage the creation of new work, and showcase existing work to the community and beyond”. As monthly rolling event supported by the Linden Endowment of the Arts, this is an excellent move on LL’s part.
But – as I hinted at in my Tweet, why not go further? Why not have a machinima competition: the top prize(s) being the active promotion of the resultant (time-limited) videos by LL (with full credit to the originators) throughout all channels available to LL – including things like an official You Tube channel and the SL Facebook page (both of which should be used to show-off the “winning” submissions from the month Machinima event overseen by the LEA).
The competition could be free-form (limited only by time length – say no longer than 1 minute), or be defined by specific content LL wish to see covered (in-world creativity, in-world entertainment, commerce, etc.) – with these aspects acting as categories for the competition.
Integrated into a broader-based advertising campaign (why not take a leaf from IMVU’s book?), a Machinima-based advertising approach such as this would score in three ways:
- It engages the Lab directly with a talented section of the community who are capable of producing material that promotes the finest attributes of Second Life
- It relieves the Lab of the burden of attempting to produce something themselves, while allowing them to determine what should be used through their own advertising / promotional channels (You Tube, the SL Facebook pages, etc.)
- It provides a clear demonstration that Second Life is a collaborative platform, where user creativity is fully supported and encouraged by the Lab.
Art is an incredibly powerful tool for promotional purposes. Let’s see LL and the community leverage the creative potential with the platform to actively promote the platform.