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First car brand drives into Second Life

Gaming

Scion just became first automaker to run a campaign in Second Life, releasing virtual cars in the popular metaverse. Toyota’s progressive brand announced the initiative at the Second Life Community Convention in San Francisco. While a real-world version of the boxy Scion xB was driven around a parking lot near the convention center, silver virtual models were dropped at various points in Second Life for residents to drive. A full launch will follow in October, when SL citizens will be able to customize Scion models. Makes sense, considering Scion already lets buyers do a fair amount of customization on real-world cars. For images of Scion’s launch in Second Life, see intellagirl’s coverage of the event. (Thanks to Cyrus Huffhines at Millions of Us for lending us an xB!) Second Life is only accessible for people over 18, so Scion also launched in Whyville, a virtual world for teenagers. Residents of Whyville can buy a Scion with clams (the local currency), customize the car and drive their friends around. Since Whyville has an educational slant, teaching kids about everything from science to money management, members can take out a virtual loan through the site’s Club Scion and Toyota Financial Services. Scion launched in Whyville in May and over 1,200 Scions have been purchased since. For more on brands entering Second Life, check out our previous coverage of Aloft Hotels and American Apparel. The later has sold over 2,000 items of clothing in SL (source: AdAge), and offers virtual shoppers a 15% discount if they buy the same piece of clothing in the real world. Who’s next? Adidas Reebok is planning a Second Life project that will let SL residents give feedback on sneaker models and colours. Meanwhile, engineers at Amazon are working on building a bridge between Amazon and Second Life (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is an investor in Linden Lab, which created Second Life). Last but not least, trendwatching.com offers an extensive overview of branding in virtual worlds in youniversal branding. Websites: http://www.scion.com and http://secondlife.com

Website: http://www.scion.com

Contact: http://secondlife.com

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