When marketing hype is far better than the product

It really does the industry no good at all when the popular press are wound up enormously with hype about a product that really isn’t up to much. And yes, I am talking about Second Life here. It is not very good for social networking and it is not very good as a game.

Yet a friend of mine who has a very senior position in the FCO told me that they were treating Second Life as being an important commercial phenomenon that offered huge marketing advantages. Many other organisations were taken in by exactly the same picture. Some have wasted large sums of money to have a big Second Life marketing presence. Virtual embassies for instance. Which are delivering little or nothing.

So whilst it may have nine million registered user accounts, when you go there it is empty. And now we find that users are spending an average of just 12 minutes a month on the site. So it is not giving people anything that they want.

Meanwhile there are very strong and persistent rumours that Google is to release a virtual world. They already own all the tools necessary, it is largely a matter of bundling them together. If this is the case it will make a great vehicle for all their advertising content. And provide very stern competition indeed to Second Life.

So do you use Second Life? Tell us about it.


  1. Spot on there Bruce. SL is the schoolbook example of a hype.
    I was approached some while ago by the government about marketing possibilities in Second Life. When I told them there were more and much better marketing tools than SL they were giving me such amazed looks. Just goes to show that too many people (and even most of the mainstream media) that aren’t industry insiders swallow whatever hype is thrown at them without giving it a second thought. Spooky.

  2. Thanks Frank, interesting story.
    It am amazed that senior managers, who are in all other ways quite sane, can waste millions of pounds on something they don’t understand, just because they have been taken in by the hype.
    Yet a few thousand pounds in consultancy fees to an industry insider would probably prevent such silliness.

Comments are closed.