After posting about Colgate Smile Power earlier I received a mail from Joni West, President of This Second Marketing. I thought it only fair to publish this mail as a post, with Joni's agreement, as it sets out the company's reply/riposte:
I would like to address your review of the Colgate Smile Center. Colgate is doing a promotion, starting today, that is about sharing the Colgate Smile and is giving away the Colgate avatar smile through Buzz Agents who will be in-world for over 500 hours over the next 2 weeks. The Smile Center was only meant to serve as a place where people could pick up the freebies if they read about the Colgate Smile promotion but did not encounter a Colgate Buzz Agent on their own. This is not meant to be a place to hand out in. As you saw in the Coffee-mate café next door, we understand that there needs to be activity to attract and maintain visitors. While we do have several camping jobs, I can assure you that the VAST majority of our visitors are not campers. We track visitors to each venue on our sim and report that to our clients because we are confident in our numbers. We are not tracking the Colgate Smile Center because we are not trying to drive traffic there and we are giving away all the freebies out on the Grid. One of the things in the freebie folder is a list of 10 places in SL that will make you smile. We have run several successful Buzz Agent campaigns and realized that people were hungry for info on places to go that were fun. People thank us routinely for giving them fun freebies and being helpful in any way we can. Our Buzz Agents help people learn to teleport to a venue, for example.As part of our subsequent email exchange (I wanted to get an OK on posting the above) Joni added:
The story for Colgate is about the Buzz Agents giving a virtual Colgate Smile to tens of thousands of avatars…not that they have a vending machine area where people can pick up the freebies. I hope this clears things up for you as to why Colgate did, and is doing this. It is not about the Smile Center, it is about The Colgate Smile and soon, a whole lot of avatars will be looking a whole lot friendlier.
No matter how much we say it is about a live promotion, people tend to focus on the build because to date, that has been what marketing efforts in SL have consisted of. When I saw all those beautiful yet empty sims, I knew I could do better and so far, This Second Marketing LLC has made ALL of our clients happy! When we want to drive traffic, we get it there. The Coffee-mate SwirL Café and AQUA Beach Party are #2 and #4 (by Linden Lab traffic stats) brand-related venues in SL. Colgate is doing a really awesome thing by handing out tens of thousands of Colgate Smiles to avatars who, let’s face it, don’t usually smile....Yep... that sounds like a plan to me! And thanks, Joni, for the replies.
How about I get back to you at the end of the holidays and let you know how many Colgate Smiles were distributed during the campaign? We only consider a Buzz Agent conversation an “interaction” if the resident accepts the inventory offer. Sound like a plan?