MARKETING THE ADULT SECOND LIFE
Ginette Pinazzo 03-24-11
The term 'adult' may refer to a stage of life, be it Second or otherwise, and there is a strong trend in marketing to create individual brands that speak to such specific stages. Virtual worlds can embody the whole 'casual' experience for various age groups, and provide a 'cradle to grave' opportunity if individual branding is adopted and promoted. An SL for each stage of life. To this end, a strong 'adult' brand may make sense to attract new residents, and to retain residents from previous stages of virtual life.
Ready to upgrade your SL? With appropriate messaging that speaks to those in the right market, an 'adult' brand can be sophisticated and lucrative. The often hot-button issue of sexual content can be safely contained within the realm of grownup behavior, and can be assumed to be permissible with other spheres of 'adult' interests, such as economic stability, political and religious discourse, a myriad of adult 'hobbies', and other academic pursuits. In short, the world of 'adult' can be many things.
What interests adults and how do we speak that language in branding? I favour this one theory: While children have the wondrous sense they can do anything, adults have learned practical sense of how they might achieve it. Children may enjoy the playground, but adults will have learned how to provide a better one for their children. Adults can make a difference in the world in which they grew up. Making a real difference in the world, gaining satisfaction from work, and having an impact on the future......these may be the dynamics that 'speak' to adults.
Identifying such sensibilities and working them into the marketing for an adult brand may provide a rich and attractive means to grow Second Life. Keeping the various age brands very distinct is important, but a understanding of the evolution between them should be apparent. When its time to 'move to adult' , the transition should be safe and secure, yet intuitive and presented as opportunity, not obstacle.
A strong and alluring adult brand will present new marketing avenues and perhaps lead to a great increase in residency within Second Life. Rather than relying on accidental discovery of the grownup world within what many may sense as a children's game, purposeful branding and marketing to adults can overstep this problem and allow fantastic growth of a truly dynamic population.