Monday, 26 November 2007

Toshiba Image Festival

Scant pickings tonight, as I surveyed the broad Western oceans in search of something bloggable. At least, that was until I spotted Toshiba. Now it may not always be the case that an island belongs to the company whose name it bears, but this one does. The sim belongs to the Toshiba Corporation, the giant Japanese electronics firm,and appears to be associated with a marketing initiative called A New Digital Odyssey. I take it the prime reason for this is to promote Toshiba's range of HD products, including DVD recorders and TVs, including the Regza, featured in this site.

As part of the initiative the company has commissioned a set of CGI animated movies, depicting an enormous, sky-borne sailing ship, that goes by the name of (ta-daaah!) A New Digital Odyssey. At the beginning of October the company extended their campaign by opening an island in Second Life, though aside from this post I have not come across any decent references to it. The centrepiece of the build is, not surprisingly, a 190-metre recreation of A New Digital Odyssey. As in the CGI movies it is accompanied by flying pink elephants, and overall looks quite stunning. At ground level there are several buildings - some in the form of delicate towers and spires, others are modern, faintly militaristic, metal shells. There's also some wildlife down there - cute giant frog-like critters.

You can pick a free jet skateboard thingy and zoot across from the arrival point to the ship. This is actively encouraged. given that large pinky arrows point you in that direction. Once on the ship you can avail yourself of a rubber rescue raft, should you so choose, before proceeding below deck, where you will find the Image Festival. As part of the Regza promotion, you can view CGI movies from a number of different film makers. There are still some "coming soon..." but there are enough screens to keep you interested. Here's my photos:

The sailing boat:

The view from terra firma:

Frogs, pink elephants and a movie:

Maybe I blinked and missed it, but I found no information on the island at all; no URLs, no notecards, nada. Not exactly a great way to promote your products! I was also expecting to find out more about the festival - but it seems this boils down to the selection of (admittedly interesting) movies already onboard the ship. It seems to me that Toshiba have rather mucked this up. I love the ship (at least from a distance) and the various critters and buildings - they all show an almost classical Japanese anime combination of fantasy and whimsy that can make you go "Wow!" and smile at the same time.

But as a company promotional build it does not really make the grade, for the simple reason that it tells you next-to-nothing about the products being promoted! Also, there seems to be something of a disconnect between the various marketing channels, the web and SL, which seem to be blissfully unaware of each other - and this is compounded by evidently poor communication about the sim to the outside world. All these things could be addressed, but it is a shame to see an interesting and amusing build going to waste.

1 comment:

ArminasX said...

Hey Aleister, thanks for the link to my post on the Toshiba sim. I agree, while Toshiba's project is an impressive build, the whole thing is just a bit strange and not quite right. I wonder what the marketing guys are thinking when they dream up these projects.

Gotta love those Pink Elephants, though!

P.S. I added you to my list of links at Second Effects, thanks for adding me to your blog!