Thursday, January 24, 2008

Virtual Vauxhall (Opel)

When blogging the Brasilian Fiat presence in Second Life last week I thought I'd pretty much blogged every automotive company in Second Life. There's one more: British Vauxhall (A General Motors subsidiary, but in Europe perhaps best known for the German Opel with the steering wheel on the wrong side)

The reason why I've missed them is probably because they have decided not to build an impressive island with predictable features such as a racing track. Vauxhall has created the Corsa Guide to Second Life.

The Corsa Guide is a plain scrapbook showing favorite locations in Second Life, including places such as the Blarney Stone, Bora Bora Wavelabs, Acropolis Gardens, The Lost Gardens of Apollo, and the Bubblegum Music Factory.

KZero had a nice post on this late May 2007:

SL major brands no.27 1/2: Vauxhall. British car-maker
Vauxhall has just launched their Second Life effort. Electing to focus on a single brand as opposed to the entire range, Vauxhall have chosen the Corsa. It would appear that they didn’t get the memo on the demographic profile of SL

So, what are they doing? Well, strickly speaking, they are not (yet) launching an official presence inside SL, hence only the half. Instead, they are using ‘The Corsa Guide‘ as a tool to encourage residents to tag favourite places in SL and share them with other people. Apparently the top ten voted places in SL will be featured in forthcoming ‘Vauxhall Corsa Guide to Getting a (Second) Life. Nice.

Shame they didn’t think to integrate some of their real world marketing efforts into SL."


"Interestingly, and read into this what you will, there are no unofficial representations of Vauxhall (or Opel) car brands in SL. Interesting because of the sweetspot between virtual world marketing and automobiles and interesting
because Vauxhall didn’t seek to maximise this opportunity. C’Mon!"

Vauxhalls own pick is a little different though: Shelley Perkins, at Vauxhall Corsa, known as Shelley Soderstrom in-world, said,

"Corsa is synonymous with having a good time and now we want to help people have fun 'virtually' too. It's a new world to explore, and it can be confusing finding your way around. This initiative will help newcomers find the best places to enjoy."

There are tons of blogs that pick the sweetspots in Second Life and I personally doubt the Corsa-driver-taste is fully compatible with mine. True, the New World maybe hard to navigate but I don't see it a car-manufacturers task to provide the hotspots. Companies such as The Yellow Pages, Navman, Tom-Tom or tour operators would be more logical candidates to service an approach like this.

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