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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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Real Life Cities 2: Dublin

If we're talking about virtual recreations of real life sites you have to visit Second Life's version of Dublin. Many people who have visited Dublin in meatspace will recognise the virtual version.

Dublin in SL also hosts one of the most popular meetingpoints in Second Life, the Blarney Stone pub. Aside from meeting the regulars and dancing. The sims media url usually streams real life Irish radio, but the Blarney Stone is a regular site for musicians to simulcast. Many young artists perform on the small stage behind the dance floor. Due to its popularity the pub was one of the first places used by Diageo to promote their virtual bar.

The heavy build urban sim and the popularity of the Blarney Stone have a downside; the sim is usually very slow to stream and at happy hour many teleports are rejected because of this.

Next to old fashioned Dublin a new sim was added recently, shaped like the traditional Irish four-leaf clover. Unfortunately it is not open to visitors yet.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dancing Stormtroopers

The virtual world of Second Life gives people seemingly endless opportunities to have an eternal carnival. Bizar outfits can be observed at almost every street corner. Tons of people do serious roleplaying in sims on the Elfencontinent or the Star Trek sim, but here's an odd one out "the dancing stormtrooper"

When I just finished my virtual shot of whiskey in (arguably) SL's most popular bar, the Blarney Stone in virtual Dublin, I suddenly came across this phenomenon. One should try to picture a full grown actor wearing the heavy metal outfit from the original score and shove him into a warm, crowded pub. On the other hand, try to imagine the stormtroopers dancing the jig in the Empire strikes back...

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