Tuesday, 6 March 2007

It's a Wunderman (Second) Life

While pottering around in Second Life the other day, I came across a mildly diverting site on the map - it looked like a large arrow. As one not given to ignoring such signs I TP'd down to find Wunderman Paris, the French offices of Wunderman, "a global direct marketing firm specializing in interactive campaign development. "

The arrow features strongly on their website, although not as blatantly as a full-blown logo. There is another Wunderman island, not open to ramblers, which is presumably related to the main office. The Parisian island, though, appears to be the domain of a certain Mr OOStyle Breaker. the General Manager & Creative Director of Wunderman Paris. I've not been able to find out a great deal about the build, but one of their groups is fairly informative.

They describe themselves in SL as a "virtual agency" whose aim is to "welcome and tour brand decision makers in the metaverse. Demonstrate the potential of a new point of contact with people.Show what works and what doesn't. Going virtual ? Of course, all the brands are. But how and what for?"

The island is largely an unspoilt expanse of tropical trees and beach. There is a small island offshore, secured from the average rambler, where more private discussions can take place. The main body of the site is build around a tall tower. On arrival, you are faced with one those Star Trek style transporters so popular here (for reasons that mystify me), that will whisk you to one of a number of open-plan floors. Aside from promotional information about the company, and small seating areas, you will find a high-altitude diving board and info about their work for Ford and Lancome among others. You will also find downloadable files (in French) on Second Life, Web2.0 and SPAM.

I don't know how long this place has been open - but since I've not read any great hoopla about it, and these folks should be specialists in generating such hoopla, I can only assume that it is at the "soft launch" stage. Nevertheless, even without a launch, in the short time I spent on the island, it seemed to have a trickle of visitors.

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