Leo Burnett has opened an “ideas hub” in Second Life, a 3D digital world populated by 800,000 participants and growing at 20% a month. Leo Burnett’s hub, which will be fully operational in November, will be a virtual learning campus for the global ad agency.
“Conceived as a celebration of creativity, the yet to be named hub (see image of part of the hub) will immediately bring together in a virtual world nearly 2,400 creatives from Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide (Leo Burnett’s marketing-service partner) in 80+ countries,” Leo Burnett said in a statement.
“Leo Burnett Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Mark Tutssel said, ‘Collective imagination will always be greater than individual creativity – and as today’s new technology now gives us untold possibilities for tapping into the creative brainpower around our network and beyond, the launch of our SL presence is all about our seizing with both hands the opportunity to learn, collaborate and create fresh ideas across the globe.’
“Jim Thornton, executive creative director at Leo Burnett UK, emphasized the exploratory nature of the project. ‘Once we fully launch our presence in Second Life in November, we will be in the position to invite other SL residents to share in our creative experience. Our hub will be a source of inspiration and a place for like-minded individuals to connect and collaborate.’”
Let’s put this in perspective:
-- Although a virtual world, Second Life’s economy (people can sell what they digitally create) is underpinned by real dollars buying Linden dollars (the Second Life currency).
-- The total value of traded goods within Second Life is expected to reach $60 million this year.
-- Brands like Toyota, Adidas, the BBC are marketing themselves in this virtual world.
-- And now a global ad agency is setting up a presence.
How long before we have real-world agencies creating virtual ad campaigns for virtual goods in a virtual world that results in real-world exchange of real US dollars.