Exclusive tour of Intel’s new Second Life Island. I gots me a Jetpack!

Intel, who’s a client for video and audio podcasts, took me on a tour of their newest addition to their Second Life island. This was a true brand experience, that infused the Intel message with a quest to find three parts; A jet pack, and two Intel chips to power it. Why jetpacks? They represent speed, agility, and flexibility. Those who complete the quest can use this jetpack to fly higher than most and fly quickly through Second Life , for geeks like me, it’s bragging rights for the second world and first.

Tim who focuses on the gaming market at Intel toured myself, Adam who’s reporting from Reuters. (You know Reuters is taking Second Life seriously), and a few others.

This “Journey to the heart of Intel Island” was unlike other simulations, it was multi-dimensional. There are elevators that let users move down several layers underground, as well as above a strategically placed tower. You’ll find cross branding events with Orange County Choppers, and a virtual music concert. At one concert hall you can watch videos of the multiply yourself campaign, but this time it features Second Life avatars, great cross-over.

The experience is rich as flying laptops are pets, they provide additional on-brand messages and quest tips.

There are multiple venues to explore in the simulation, from an underground life size chip, to a conference area, to a concert area, this is a multi-purpose environment. What’s most interesting is that Second Life citizens will have to ask a jetpack owner where they got the jetpack, it’s a brilliant word-of-mouth campaign. But don’t ask me for tips, you gotta give it your own try, for some it will take some time to find the pieces, (maybe even 30 minutes) but it’s emotionally satisfying when you earn it.

Thanks Intel, and MRM Worldwide/McCann Erickson (Updated July 25th: I forgot to include some of the folks who helped out on this) who was the agency who developed the Island along with developers Millions of Us. Ogilvy, the PR agency and Intel invited me for the sneak preview when the doors opened at 9am today. This was a unique interactive brand quest that left me feeling that by getting the chips would empower the virtual experience better, it make sense.

I was asked for my feedback, and I said it would be interesting if the simulation would create a floating island high above that’s only accessible by the jet pack. Heck, take me to the moon or a new planet!

If you’re a corporation in SecondLife, I’d love to hear about it, let me know, my email address is on the top right.

Intel Tour Starts
The Private Tour starts

Intel and Orange County Choppers
Tie ins with Orange County Choppers

Getting my jetpack (but it's still unpowered)
Just got my jetpack, but it’s unpowered

Intel Elevator (multiple levels, that's new)
Getting on elevator

SecondLife Avatars are dancing to Multiply campaign
Second Life avatars dance to “mutliply yourself”, very clever cross-branding

Inside the Intel Island Core
Deep inside the Island, this is one of the first simulations to be multi-level

Intel Island's Concert center
Concert Hall and Auditorium

Got my Jetpack and it's powered!
Yes, I got the final chip, and my jetpack is powered (notice full green bars on pack)

I’ve seen a few corporate Second Life islands, this one is well thought out and is a good example of opt-in brand immersion, for corporations that want to enter this space, take note, this is a good case study.

  • I’m curious as to how effective you think Second Life if for marketing and branding. Does the average Second Life user actually visit these islands? Do they purchase things from the ones that provide online stores? Do they care about them at all?

    During my brief foray into Second Life several months ago, I found little to suggest that the average user is receptive to this sort of branding/marketing exercise. To be blunt, it seemed like the typical Second Lifer was more interested in cybersex and flooding the sky with virtual tacos than they were in exploring Intel’s virtual island.

    I personally don’t see the viability of Second Life as a marketing or branding tool for most companies. It might work for some, but I suspect that they’re a minority. What do you think, Jeremiah?

  • Paul Drago

    Sorry to “jack” your comment thread and answer the above question Jeremiah– but it is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while.

    Right now second life marketing is in its infancy. It honestly isn’t that dissimilar to say web marketing back in the mid-90s. The only difference is the audience already as an immunity to a lot of the standard marketing efforts. (Advertisements outside of the search feature are largely ignored– typically because they are “ugly”)
    A lack of visitors going to a corporate islands is due to a number of factors:
    1) Most islands don’t offer any real reason to visit them (who cares if I can make a Dell computer in Second Life and then jump to the Dell website to complete the order. It is meaningless)
    2) Lack of visibility. I don’t go out and search for company names in second life– I search for specific things: “haunted house” “dancing” “clubs” rarely do I search for “Intel”, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
    3) The companies are not adding value. There is an awesome opportunity for develop a stronger and more interesting toolset in Second Life– but making an island and expecting traffic isn’t any different then making a website and expecting traffic auto-magically.

    For example, a company like Zillow could make awesome use of their tools foundation and place it within Second Life– let people know how much similar property sold for in the same sim and similar sims.
    The problem isn’t the medium, it is the poor use of the medium. There are 7.5 mil residents in SL– savvy companies could do awesome things with that. They just haven’t gotten there yet.

  • Hey, here’s a proof point that it’s working (not sure if it justifies costs however)

    I “FELT” that the intel chips would make me go faster and be more flexible. I really felt it.

    That accounts for more than any fact sheet or datasheet.

    (and I told you all about it too!)

  • @Paul: I appreciate that answer. From that perspective, it’s not that different from another other social media/Web 2.0 service in terms of the way that marketers should use it. Give users valuable content, and they’ll link to you, talk about you, associate positive things with your brand, etc.

    @Jeremiah: That “feeling” is what branding is all about, so you’re right that it can and does work. I was more wondering if it works on a large scale with the “Average Joe” user. But, like Paul said, it’s a matter of giving users something of value and a reason to visit your island. I think he’s right about most companies not giving Second Lifers any reason to visit their islands. Intel may be leading the way in giving SL users something they perceive as valuable (jetpacks!), and it seems that their island is really worth visiting. If more companies follow their lead, I can see this sort of thing taking off.

    Thanks for your replies, both of you. I’ve definitely got some things to think about now!

  • I’ll be frank, I’m concerned about the low usage of active users in SecondLife, it’s not high. But they are engaged!

  • > Hey, here’s a proof point that it’s working (not
    > sure if it justifies costs however)

    > I “FELT” that the intel chips would make me go
    > faster and be more flexible. I really felt it.

    The question surely isn’t “does it develop brand message once you get there?”

    The question surely is “would you go there?”

    I’m curious as to how many Corporate Islands will be visited and blogged about by people who DON’T get an “interesting sneak preview tour.”

    If Intel can crack THAT then it’s money well spent!

  • Mark you’re right

    I don’t use Second Life that much in the first place.

    Yes, there was a brand message, getting the chips made me ‘feel’ fast and flexible. It worked.

    I think the target audience is folks IN second life, I’m simply media/press.

    Your instincts are correct.

  • Marc Jarcon

    My boyfriend works at MRM, the online division of McCann. And in concert with Millions of Us, they came up with the concepts, designed, wrote and executed the Intel Second Life Island. As far as I know, Ogilvy has nothing, repeat nothing, to do with it. Your review was so flattering I thought you would want credit to go where it’s due.

    Also, I am not a Second Lifer, but I just checked out the Island. Why is it called an Island? Can someone explain? The entire Intel “Island” is beautiful and actually pretty cool. Are other places in Second Life like this? I have read companies are ruining it but this was not like that at all.

  • francineinparadise

    Interesting review, however there is one glaring error…MRM/Mcann is responsible for the work, not Oglivy.

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  • Hey Jeremiah,

    Amazing write up. I’d like to invite you to swing by our offices one of these days for lunch — we’re up in Sausalito on the water. Let me know when’s good — there’s a great Indian place around the corner from us called. . . . Avatar’s.


    Reuben Steiger
    Millions of Us
    Reuben (AT) Millionsofus (DOT) com

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  • Tom

    I can’t visit Intel’s SL island or anyplace else in SL — because both my work and home computers have Intel video chips, which SL doesn’t support. These computers crash every five minutes when running SL because of the Intel chips. Oh, the irony.

  • Hi Tom – Intel graphics chips indeed do support Second Life, you might just need to tweak your settings if it is not working for you. See our Second Life user forum at http://www.intel.com/software/slforum – there is a particularly good post there at http://softwarecommunity.intel.com/isn/Community/en-US/forums/permalink/30237553/30238896/ShowThread.aspx#30238896 explaining how to tweak your settings if you are having difficulties. Also, make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of the Second Life client at http://secondlife.com/community/downloads.php for compatibility with your Intel chipset.

  • carnivore187

    how the hell is intel suposed to be getting business buy advertising on the one online game it cant play?
    it amases me more that they actually payed SL to have a spot in the environment=)
    who’s in charge of intel marketing now…
    bob dole?

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  • The MMORPG business is amazing, and it will grow too. The sky is the limit. However, the real money to be made is in virtual currencies, not the second life hype…

  • Hey, here's a proof point that it's working (not sure if it justifies costs however)

    I “FELT” that the intel chips would make me go faster and be more flexible. I really felt it.

    That accounts for more than any fact sheet or datasheet.

    (and I told you all about it too!)