I've got a great but long-winded article below about advertising in Second Life, analyzing the interesting piece by David Berkowitz who suggests that SL should be "optimalized". If LL does nothing else, they should put the SEARCH button in a more prominent and easy to see place than at the bottom of the screen. Meanwhile, I'll put the rest of my concepts in pictures -- reposting from yesterday due to typepad mess-ups.
1. Don't be afraid of billboards. There are already a lot of ugly ones in SL -- buy one out and put up something better which also dispenses freebies and info -- don't use these land-extortionist ad sellers -- use your own ad budget -- gigantic by contrast with the micropayment world -- to rid the world of this vermin.
2. Don't think your cute little dorky guy that you have as a logo or mascot in RL is going to fit in the virtual world just because it's cute and dorky.
3. Give avatars something to click on and do and interact with on your fancy branding island that isn't just about the brand -- to make them stick
14. Make avatars remove attachments at events -- laggy or obstructive attachments are annoying and turn people away. 20. If an idea doesn't work, don't be afraid of quickly deleting it and rebuilding from scratch -- this is a highly changeable, malleable, fixable world where the costs of rebuilding are still low.
6. Do not fear versimilitude and don't be afraid of making something beautiful and classic -- most avatars and shoppers like these kinds of buildings to shop in rather than heavy metal, abstractions,
7. Do not put pictures of RL people into the build. It really kills the immersion. They contrast unfavourably with the avatars, who are going to be anything from robots to furries to sexy blondes with hoochie hair that can run circles around these AA coyote-ugly gals. Look at what people actually dress up like in the world.
9. Don't try to separate avatars from their inworld indigenous brands! Step lightly. And realize the prim craftsmanship is simply more appreciated than your ugly quick-fix texturey logo-y brand thingie and give it up. You don't have to get brand recognition by actually making some little mini avataric version of your product. You can do it in other more subtle ways, just as you would do, say, sponsoring a human rights campaign if you were Reebok
10. . Avoid having your employees look like futuristic clones in the belief such outfits are the best fashion for virtual worlds --- these MOU dudes who look like they're serving 5-10 upstate! Have them look more like the hunk to the left of them -- wow, look at that bling!
12. Go ahead. Put some signs with your logos in boardwalk stalls, stores, malls and even roadside. Pay the locals some rent in Lindens. Don't listen to Philip Linden who tells you to stay cooped up on your island, or to metaversal marketing companies who want to keep you endlessly trapped in their own after-parties relying only on them. Here's Barnes and Ingrid's mall Tableau, a boardwalk really done tastefully, but with never more than about 3000 traffic. So look for the high-traffic malls and deal with them as well.
13. Don't build a big-ass pretentious build and have a hugely hyped media event with a one-hit-wonder in the RL media and then leave the build out to moulder on an empty sim for weeks later -- it's totally lame. At least throw up some sex pose balls and some freebie boxes.
15. Don't create such an avant-garde and laggy build that it becomes uncomfortable and slow-loading for avatars -- fast-rezzing (loading) comfortable (seeable and clickable) seating and display areas are a must.
16. No need to follow the Soviet Union of Concrete Workers' school of auditorium seating either when building -- traditional lecture/podium/seating arrangements don't even work well in a virtual world with 20m hearing distance for text.
18. Be discriminating about believing Linden Lab hype. Keep in mind Havoc 2 and HTML-on-a-Prim have been promised for years now, and they have no real plans to go open-source in the near future. Conversely, don't believe them if they say they won't ever change anything -- look at what happened to the telehubs, the old transportation system which was quickly removed.
14. Make avatars remove attachments at events -- laggy or obstructive attachments are annoying and turn people away.
20. If an idea doesn't work, don't be afraid of quickly deleting it and rebuilding from scratch -- this is a highly changeable, malleable, fixable world where the costs of rebuilding are still low.