Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Virtual Marketing, Real Money, And Moral Outrage

Playboy announces it will enter the virtual world of Second Life, and of course folks are talking about it.

I found this post from Susan Getgood over at Marketing Roadmaps the most interesting:
The porn industry is an early adopter of new technologies. First to video, first to the Web. And now among the first to virtual worlds. In part of course, because it keeps getting kicked out. Pushed out of movie theaters onto video. Filtered out on the Web by products like Cyber Patrol.. But also because it is pretty good at following the money. If the commercial pornographers are there -- if they think the audience will turn up -- virtual worlds absolutely have the potential to deliver returns for more conventional marketers. In fact, I'd bet on it.
I know next to nothing about gaming, including Second Life (me-guesses that since I deal so much with real people everyday, I have no desire to deal with pretend ones in my down-time), but I'm with Susan and the others who agree it's something to watch.

On the other hand, once Playboy moves in, be prepared for some to try to evict them. Even if Second Life is a virtual adult play land, we all know how tolerant adults in the real world are. (And since gaming is huge with kids, tweens and teens, if there's even a whiff of children being exposed, watch out.)

One imagines that as the virtual Playboy Mansion moves in and real profits go up, moral outrage (virtual or not) will ensue.

But then too, watching the adult industry make money, then be told to leave, is always an interesting battle. (I must find it interesting, or, alas, take to my bed with consumption.)

And isn't it strange that the largest outcry comes only when the industry proves profits... Profits mainstream wants, but didn't have the balls & ovaries to make, so they use moral outrage to limit competition for dollars and real estate as they try to follow the model the adult companies used.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Susan Getgood said...

Let's hope folks can watch listen and learn without judging.

The good news is that Second Life is adults-only. The outrage is more likely to come from residents' dismay that Hefner et al actually intend to make money. And not just Linden dollars.

Because let's face it, they aren't in it to prove the technology. It is all about revenue and going where the audience is.

May 16, 2007 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Playboy recently reported on a Second Life strip club that is apparently making real dollars for non-real lap dances (which, if you've ever worked in a strip club and had a bad night, probably infuriates you). I don't think anyone will have a lot of issues with Playboy making real money in Second Life.

My main comment to this post is that I've also noticed the adult industry is always the innovator. In the small-publishing world, people still aren't even sure about blogs. One publicist, in a public speech to a group, totally dismissed blogging because she doesn't read blogs and doesn't feel like anyone else does either. They debate about MySpace or Facebook and most don't understand SEO. They don't bother to educate themselves and are stagnating.

I wrote a post about this attitude. The innovators are the ones who get the money. All the rest just play catch-up. For all their grousing about shrinking readership, the small-pub world needs to realize that Internet surfers are readers -- there is no other way to enjoy the Internet.

No one likes to admit it, but the adult industry has paved the way in so many things and will continue to do so. Follow the money, honey!

XX

May 17, 2007 7:14 AM  
Blogger Marketing Whore said...

Hello Susan :) Thanks for stopping by; I do enjoy your blog!

You and Amanda are both right, it's about the moola. Learning would be more important than moral outrage, but then here in America anyway we don't always focus on the learning part.

The adult industry is touted for it's ability to monetize technology & trends nearly as often as it is labeled horrid. This still perpelexes me in our capitalistic society where everyone yells, "Let the market dictate!"

The market clearly yells back, "We want our adult stuff," but...

May 17, 2007 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Yes, mainstream America is so conflicted. Let us non-conflicted folks make what money we can.

Speaking of conflicted...an Internet magazine that I get had an ad for a banner exchange site. The attention-getter? A back-shot of a naked, shapely blonde woman sitting on a towel. And I don't believe this banner exchange site allows adult material.

XX

May 18, 2007 7:23 AM  

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