Product placement in virtual worlds like Second Life isn't new, but Evian Natural Spring Water has taken it to the next level.
If your Second Life character drinks Evian water, the character's skin will look healthier. It's described as the character's graphics being more defined with better texture and the lighting changes to become more flattering. It was done as part of a marketing partnership between Evian and Second Life.
Evian might not be able to promise that drinking their water makes you look better in the real world, but they sure can do that now for the virtual world! Just imagine what this means for the future of online marketing. You can drink virtual Red Bull and actually have wings. What if virtual Gatorade makes your character faster (and sweat orange/blue/purple)? What about Nike shoes that make your character jump high...
Here's a highlight of the press release:
ATLANTA, GA – October 2, 2007– Evian® Natural Spring Water, the world’s leading brand of bottled water, announced today that it will become a new component of the popular Internet-based world, “Second Life.” A 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents, Second Life is inhabited today by almost 8 million people from around the globe that will now delight in the virtual health and beauty benefits of the world’s leading brand of bottled water.
Within Second Life, residents will find true-to-life Evian Natural Spring Water vending machines. As the person approaches, a pop-up message will appear offering the opportunity to give one’s skin a “second life” thanks to Evian. If the resident accepts the proposal, he or she will be offered a bottle of Evian Natural Spring Water and a variety of natural skins to choose from. Once the skin is selected, a physical transformation occurs for the resident. This virtual transformation, while not possible in real life, provides more than just simply a cosmetic change, but indicates skin renewal; the bodily presentation of the character then becomes more defined, having a better texture and is lit in a more flattering manner.
“Evian has always had its hand on the pulse of what’s hot. With build-it-yourself virtual worlds, fantasy lands and video games increasing in popularity, we felt that Second Life was a fitting platform for Evian to make its virtual debut,” said Jeff Caswell, Vice President of Marketing for Evian North America. “Everyone should be able to experience the many benefits that Evian has to offer—whether they’re in the real world or the virtual world.”