Virtual world Second Life holds potential for real-life brand and product promotion, according to the latest GMI Poll by global market intelligence solutions provider Global Market Insite, Inc.
For example, 56% of Second Life users say the virtual world is a good promotional vehicle, and only 16 percent say they would not be more likely to buy or use a brand that is represented there.
Of the more than 9,500 or so respondents to the poll, only 5% (roughly 475) said they have a Second Life account. A third said they don’t know what SL is; three of ten said they have been planning to open an account but just haven’t gotten around to it. Nearly all SL usersÂ – 97% – said they tend to access SL from home.
Some additional findings:
- Among those with SL accounts, 37 percent said they would definitely be more likely in real life to purchase or use a brand that’s represented in SL, and 41 percent said maybe they would.
- More than half – 54% – said they spend less time watching television now that they are active in Second Life, 17% said they don’t read as much and 13% said they don’t go shopping as much.
- Not surprisingly, some Second Life users go to the virtual world to avoid reality. Twenty-four percent of respondents claim they go to Second Life to escape real life, which they are not satisfied with, while 64 percent present themselves differently.
- Accordingly, those who spend time in SL are not always similar to their avatars: 23% are actually a different gender, 22% have a different skin color, and 37% are actually older than their avatars (19% are younger).
“Second Life is still in its infancy, and nobody knows if this virtual world has true staying power or is just a fad,” said Michael Cai, director of broadband and gaming at market research and consulting firm Park Associates.
“What is clear from the GMI poll is that Second Life is a potential, untapped source for marketing and branding. The people at Linden Lab have the opportunity to build out a new platform for promotion, much like Yahoo and Google did for the internet.”
The Second Life GMIPoll surveyed a total of 9,529 U.S. consumers, age 18 and above, between March 27 and April 9, 2007. The interviews were conducted online among GMI’s permission-based consumer panel using GMI’s data collection software. Additional Second Life polls were conducted in Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.