Wow!!! I am absolutely floored by the flurry of activities and emotions surrounding Second Life these days. Crayon is a new marketing company that just launched in Second Life. They set off a reaction when they called themselves the first company to be launched in Second Life, which is just not true. It’s actually hysterical how untrue that is. After the MAJOR backlash from this statement, they came back and said they meant they were the first to actually launch a company in Second Life that did not exist in the real world previously. Whatever. If anything, they’ve turned this into a semantics issue—not surprising from a “marketing” company.
Anyway, Crayon and its grandiose claims have struck a nerve with the current SL community and a lot of people are pissed off. It has raised the discussion of brand proliferation in Second Life, large companies coming in and plastering themselves all over the virtual world. Rightly so, it has left many of the original business owners in Second Life feeling insulted. I like Tony Walsh’s reasoning the best because it relates the situation to history—which like he says, people are in a bad habit of forgetting. I’ll post my favorite excerpt of Walsh’s blog post here, but I encourage you to read it in its entirety as well as the ensuing comments:
“Have we learned nothing from real-world history? Ages ago, imperialists planted their flags on "
A couple colleagues/friends of mine have already expressed that it would not be one bit surprising if a lot of the original Second Lifers leave SL altogether and find (or create) a new virtual world where marketing, PR, and advertising is banned. Considering the amazing things they have created in Second Life, I would not put it past them. They seem to know what they’re doing.
After attending the SLCC in 2006, I learned that one of the biggest challenges facing Linden Lab was to come up with ways to better market the businesses and services created by SL residents—mind you, not RL brands like American Apparel and Adidas. Companies like Electric Sheep Company , Millions of Us, and Rivers Run Red that help bring large RL brands into SL would be out of reach (financially) for SL brands. What to do? Well, if Crayon wanted to ease some tensions and hard feelings coming from some of the dejected SL residents, they can start by offering their marketing expertise to the very people they have offended—though it may already be too late for some good will (and I mean free or pretty cheap good will). Seriously, how is the community expected to welcome Crayon with open arms when their first order of business is bringing Coke into SL?