Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Under Construction: Unilever

Just spotted: Unilever.

Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch conglomerate with hundreds of brands, much like Procter & Gamble. One of its brands, Ben & Jerrys has tested the virtual waters in 2007, and now the mothership is coming down with a double sim under construction. Not yet accessible though.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Land of the Rising Celts: One to Watch

One of my favorite pasttime (usually late-night) hobby's is tasting whisky. If one thinks whisky, one thinks Scottish and usually ends up with Diageo. Today Diageo is the largest beer, wine and spirits company in the world with dozens of whiskies in it's portfolio, among which the well known "Classic Malt" series. As a lover of this water of life I'm no fan of Diageo though. They have a history. As you can read in Ulf Buxrud's "Lost Distilleries" they have a tradition of mergers and take-overs (under the name of UDV, United Distillers & Vintners and in preceding companies as well), and in the process are responsible for shutting down tons of old and respected distilleries in Scotland over the past 100 years.

Loyal readers of this blog and that of Ambling in Second Life may well be aware of the fact that Diageo has been developing a double sim island in Second Life for some time now. Well, this blog isn't about them. They're still lost in the waters. This blog is about the other whisky sim I've been keeping an eye on since early May (2007): Suntory.

A flashback (summarising previous blog entries):

On may 1 I spotted the Suntory sim at the center of a square of Japanese Sims, but the island wasn't accessible. There was only the logo to show, nothing else. A little later Aleister Kronos doubted it was the right Suntory. For us Europeans all Japanese have similar names and look alike, so there was the option it wasn't the Japanese brewer Suntory. I persisted though as I believed the logo to be of this megasized brewer.

In June the island took shape, but I wasn't really welcome. A few days later the design was torn down and in August I blogged on the new build appearing at the sim. In my opinion it wasn't really corporate anymore, so I started doubting myself.

(see "suntory" label for overview of these posts)

An impression

When returning to the site now, I got prove I was right. This time I took a long stroll through the sim, which in my opinion is aptly themed "Sanctuary"

Upon entering the sim I was placed on a bridge from the busy, crammy Japanese island towards a santuary in the midst of this. Although I've never been able to visit this great culture in Real Life yet, this fits in with my perception of it: Large, stressing techno-savvy cities which open up to sparkling sights of beauty and ancient culture. The feeling I get from this sim is a cross-cultural mix though. It is not what you would perceive as a traditional Japanese sanctuary, but feels like a cross of Japanese and Medieval European tradition and architecture.

On the first platform you'll encounter a sticky wall with shots of the island.

Further on you'll encounter several of the dozens of brands in beverage the company holds or imports, varying from Boss Coffee to Pepsi cola.

Finally I found the way down to the bar, which breathes the atmosphere of a classic "gentlemen's lounge," a place that cries for a good dram. In the bar you'll encounter the whiskies Suntory imports, like the well known Bowmore, Macallan and Glenfiddich, but also their own Suntory brand is present (if only RL pubs would charge these rates!)...

Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I really like this sim. I think it truly is a sanctuary between all the skyscraperish sims surrounding it, breathing ease and relaxation. A perfect atmosphere for a whisky. In itself the build is of an outstanding quality. It is an intricate design and I haven't discovered a single texture out of sync. To me, this sim is more than a brand. It is about a lifestyle.

There's a few points of criticism though. As happens with a lot of sims in Second Life, this one was empty so I couldn't find a tourguide. Most information was illegible to me as it was Japanese. Only the most basic directions were given in English, such as 'Marina', 'Square' and 'Bar' but i really would have liked to know more about the build, the sim and what is going on here.


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Monday, October 22, 2007

Smirnoff meltdown

After a hard days work I needed a drink. Usually I turn to whiskey, but tonight I was invited to grab one of the last available Vodka's by Smirnoff.

The above picture was taken by TerryAnn Antonelli when the sim was complete. Now it's slowly fading away as global heating devours the ice. Only the ice castle still stands, but no one is really sure for how long. Today, tomorrow or next week this build may be gone completely.

The Smirnoff sim has been around for only a month or so, originally set up for the sole purpose of making a machinima (which isn't out yet I believe) and now melts away just as many many other things come and go in Second Life. At least in machinima and some blogs a bit of its memory will survive.

More pictures by TerryAnn Antonelli

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Smirnoff%20Island/128/128/0

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

SLUC: Suntory enters Second Life

Second Life under Construction

Today I was looking for a specific sim, entered it in the map search and there it was - a complete slumbleupon - Suntory, a huge Japanese corporation is entering Second Life. Suntory is mostly known in Europe for their excellent immitation of Scotch Whiskey (Suntory Yamazaki, Suntory Hibiki etcetera), but is much more than that. It's a multi billion dollar food and beverage conglomerate.

Or as Wikipedia says: "Suntory Limited (Santorī Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a Japanese brewing and distilling company. Established in 1899, it is one of the oldest companies in the distribution of alcoholic beverages. Its business has expanded to other fields, and the company now offers everything from soft drinks to vintage wines. Suntory is headquartered in Dojimahama, Kita-ku, Osaka, Osaka prefecture. In the 1970's, Suntory engaged US pop group, the Carpenters, to advertise its new line of soft drinks."

Off course, the sim isn't accesible, but I took a peek from the neighbouring isles, alas still only water underneath that logo. However, Japan is making a serious move with several commercial, residential and big RL sims in construction mode.

Some more Japanese corps under construction:

  1. Idu co.
  2. HIS
  3. Ameba

And there's more to be found here, but I can't make head or tail from Japanese.


Arriving from Canada SolidWorks (3D/ CAD software)

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