Home > avatar, Digital Fashion, Fashion in Second Life, Second Life, Technology, Virtual Fashion, Virtual Fashion Branding, Virtual Fashion Marketing > Part 1: Avatars in Second Life for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

Part 1: Avatars in Second Life for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

 There is an emergence of the virtual avatar as a fashion marketing and product development tool. An avatar is a graphical image of the viewer that is widely used in massively multi-user online virtual reality environments and games.  Avatars are currently emerging in the retail sector as an idealized generic and/or customized marketing tool for an expanding variety of fashion products. The combined marketing promotion of H&M and The Sims to integrate H&M into the Sims game as well as the Sims and H&M Virtual Runway Fashion Design Competition represents the branding impact of fashion in virtual worlds. According to the recent article in the International Herald Tribune titled “Fashion Giants are Venturing in Virtual Worlds,”  the world is not big enough for the global fashion community.”

Real ballerina, left, and virtual ballerina.

H&M is at the forefront of virtual branding with this promotion and it is only a matter of time before other retailers will really catch on to the marketing power of virtual fashion competitions and brand identity. Check out the Virtual Value” trend from the 2008 Trendwatching Report.  

Every virtual marketing strategy requires careful research to analyze the target demographic but Second Life teen grid and main grid is overflowing with interest in virtual fashion. A carefully planned virtual marketing campaign for the Harry potter IMAX movie resulted in 15,000 contacts in the target demographic. 

A number of retailers are paying attention to the marketing/branding potential that virtual worlds like Second Life can provide. A real life version of the virtual Second Life firstbling™ necklace emerged just before the recent SLCC 2007 convention. The integration of the virtual world and fashion can only add up to strategic virtual promotional and marketing campaigns, and embedded virtual branding potential for retailers on an international level.

Lacoste recently ran a virtual modeling contest in Second Life for L1$ million. The House of Nyla has a Second Life link on her Web site to promote her virtual fashion location in Second Life. Nyla is a Vancouver Designer who creates one of a kind clothing from Bridal to Avant Garde. She has an excellent link on her site to a video aptly titled “Tex 100 Brand Building in Second Life.” A recent short U-Tube video titled “Brands in Second Life,” reviews some of the branded builds in Second Life.

The British branding firm Rivers Run Red is working with real-world fashion firms and media companies inside Second Life, where they’re creating designs that can be viewed in all their 3D glory by colleagues anywhere in the world. According to Business Week, the branding firm is working with a consortia of more then 200 companies (including retail giant Wal-Mart) to present how virtual worlds can be used for training marketing, collaboration and product development. So convinced of the value of the virtual presence and future marketing impact of Second Life is the Rivers Run Red firm that the CEO, Justin Bovington has set up shop on the virtual island of Avalon. He claims that the virtual presence has saved his company big $$$.  The company recently collaborated with Scarlett Johansson, to release a new line of real-life clothing that will also be offered in Second Life. Inspired by real world collections some virtual Second Life versions are available and can be viewed at Mrs Jones Love, Set & Match.

Bershka (a Spanish brand) has a virtual fashion presence in Second Life and promotes it on the Website.

To be continued….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: