I have a confession to make: while by no means a hardcore gamer, I have been known to play the occasional video game. In fact, I own a Nintendo Wii. Sure, maybe part of it was the fact that I bought a few Nintendo shares last summer in anticipation of their new console launch (a fact that has paid off quite nicely, I might add); but after playing it, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone that denies the humor of seeing two adults wildly swinging their Wii-motes during a round of Wii Tennis.
As for Second Life, however - that is an entirely different story. A virtual world that allows users to "design and shape their virtual environment and fill it with life," Second Life attempts to emulate real life via "sophisticated 3D representations of objects and people." Far more exhaustive than any games I wish to partake in, that hasn't stopped Mercedes from entering into Second Life, announcing the creation of a "Virtual Brand World" that will allow the world's inhabitants the ability to experience MB vehicles on a virtual test track.
As if that wasn't enough, Mercedes will also be hosting an exclusive live concert featuring artists from the Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape to celebrate the launch of its virtual showroom, available to all visitors of the new imaginary facility on February 20th.
While I've never played Second Life, nor will I probably ever, the appeal of experiencing a virtual Mercedes on a virtual test track as opposed to traveling to an actual dealership and experiencing an actual Mercedes to me at least isn't readily apparent. Nevertheless, with over 3 million users of Second Life, there's bound to be at least a few excited about MB's Virtual Brand World.
To learn more, keep reading for Mercedes' official Virtual Brand World press release.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Opens Virtual Brand World in Second Life
Stuttgart, Feb 15, 2007
The inhabitants of the virtual world “Second Life” are in for a new highlight next week. On 20 February 2007 Mercedes-Benz sets up its own representation in the online world at www.secondlife.com. On the Mercedes-Benz “island” in the upmarket South West district (coordinates: 128.128.11) the Second Life inhabitants can visit the new showroom, and in the future will be able to experience cars on the Mercedes-Benz virtual test track. To mark the opening of its virtual showroom, Mercedes-Benz will host an exclusive live concert featuring artists from the successful Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape compilation for all its visitors on 20 February 2007 at 10 p.m. (CET).
“Digital communication has been established as a permanent component of the Mercedes-Benz marketing activities. With Second Life we are consequently using a new communication platform to further address our existing and potential customers”, says Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars. “In Second Life Mercedes-Benz sets new standards, both visually and with regard to the content. At the same time we offer to experience the fascination of the brand and its products in this virtual environment”, continues Mr. Göttgens.
The design of the showroom demonstrates a particularly detailed 3D architecture and reflects the modern Mercedes-Benz architecture of the real world. Among other elements the representation includes an area for vehicle presentations, a stage for events and big screens for interested users to view current product films and TV advertisements. Visitors of the virtual Mercedes-Benz world can also download the 16th compilation of the very popular Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape music collection for free, prior to its official release on 27 February 2007. In addition, every visitor will be presented with a virtual Formula 1 racing suit and a helmet as a gift.
The accompanying website www.mercedes-benz.com/secondlife provides Internet users with a jump start to Second Life and a guide to the Mercedes-Benz island. The website can be accessed without having to register for Second Life and offers background information about the Mercedes-Benz presence in the online world as well as videos and pictures for downloading. Mercedes-Benz also provides its Second Life visitors with a brief guided tour of the island to ensure better orientation. For an optimum support, a virtual figure, an “avatar”, is available every day during the high usage times to answer the questions of the visitors. During the starting phase of the Mercedes-Benz world in Second Life there will also be a special press avatar available on working days from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. (CET) for members of the media.
Copyright © 2007, DaimlerChrysler AG