Avatar Based Marketing

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An online avatar is nothing but a representation of oneself in an online environment created so that the users can play the role of someone they wish to be or are inspired from. This basically allows users to live a second life online-a life which they have desired to lead. In this online world everything is created virtually by the avatars to replicate or even better the real world. There are acres of land, buildings and items which are sold and bought. There are even social groups and events taking place in this virtual world. The avatar is the most conspicuous online manifestation of people’s desire to try out alternative identities or project some private aspect of them. This experience of living through an alternative self is the most powerful thought in the virtual world. These more than a million “residents” are potentially a dream marketing venue for the marketers which are waiting to be explored and targeted. Using the online world’s own currency ‘Linden Dollars’ which is available at the virtual ATM’s, which is convertible to “real” money, marketers are targeting these “residents”. But the question that is troubling the marketers is to whom will the marketing efforts target? Will it target the real life humans playing online avatar based games or will it target the avatars directly? As the real world human controls the real world wallet. But as has s are been seen the avatars represent a distinctly different consumer, one which is able to influence its creators purchase of real world products and also make it own real world purchases in the virtual world. A few examples of Selling to Avatars and in turn selling to Their Creators are: 1. Coke Studios is a teen oriented virtual world run by Coca-Cola in which users avatars interact and accumulate points through primarily music related activities. These points are used to buy furniture and accessories for your own studios. 2. “Second Life” residents run businesses that sell virtual products and...
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