During the Lab Gab special on Monday, June 21st, that featured board member and Executive Chair Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) and the SL leadership team of Grumpity, Patch and Brett Linden, a “commercial break” was taken to show – I believe for the first time – a complete advertising cut of the video filmed for Second life as a collaborative project between Linden Lab and Levitate Media.
I’ve extracted the video via timestamps and embedded it at the end of this article so it can be seen without the interviews that come on either side of it, and during the show, Brett linden revealed more about it:
- The overall project for the video has the internal title at the Lab of The Children of Creation.
- The version shown (and embedded below) is one of several cuts of the recorded film, and is specifically geared towards teasing out the ideas of freedom of expression and imagination taking flight, hence the emphasis on flying.
- Other cuts of the video (I believe from Brett’s comments) emphasise Second life in other ways, some offering a “considerable amount” of Second Life footage, and a “directors cut” that does not really show the virtual world, but acts as a teaser.
- The ad (as seen here) was entered into the 2021 Telly Awards for artistic achievement in video advertising, where it received the following adjudicated awards:
- Gold Telly winner – Online Commercials Craft-Visual Effects.
- Gold Telly winner – People’s Telly General-Online Commercials.
- Silver Telly winner – Online Commercials Craft-Music/Jingle.
- Silver telly winner – Online Commercials Craft-Directing.
- The video is regarded as a “concept ad” and has not as yet been widely deployed as a part of any advertising or other campaign. However, there are plans to discretely test some of the edits (including the “director’s cut”).
You can list to Brett’s comment on the ad below:
From a purely personal perspective, I think the advert as shown works pretty well; the images are well-matched to the narration, and the overall impact is the idea of liberation and freedom of expression. The intercuts of changing avatar appearances particularly underscores this, as do more subtle elements (take the still used as the banner image for this article, for example – the person / avatar flying away from the bright “Hive” sign, alluding to escaping humdrum, unified thinking and moving to new horizons). There is also a good sense of mystery to the ad that present the encouragement to go find out more about what it means
However, I have to caveat this by saying the phrase “if you’re travelling beyond this life” perhaps doesn’t sit as well as it might, given that terms like “beyond this life” are often using in reference to people passing on. This and other phrasing in the video might push uninitiated ears towards thinking the add is about some kind of cult or similar, rather than promoting a digital world; perhaps “beyond this world” might have been a better choice of words.
I’d be curious to learn how well the ad (and variations thereof) sit with assorted audiences, and maybe we’ll find out in time. For now, however, here’s the ad as shown during Lab Gab.