Monday, October 02, 2006

:: adgruntie :: BBH Goes Virtual

+ Bartle Bogle Hegarty has opened a virtual advertising agency.
BBH's move, within online virtual reality world Second Life, comes as rival Leo Burnett unveiled plans to set up Leo Ideas Hub, a virtual creative department, using Second Life to bring together its agency creatives from around the world.


Second Life is different from other online social networks because it is a 3D virtual reality world that mixes gaming with commerce. Subscribers create their own virtual alter egos - avatars - to live an alternative life.

Second Lifers take part in hundreds of activities, from making friends to clubbing or shopping: there's even a red light zone. They also use their own virtual currency - Linden dollars, named after the company that developed Second Life, Linden Labs - which is convertible into dollars.

BBH has worked with London-based virtual world design agency Rivers Run Red to create a virtual agency populated by avatars of BBH staff including global chairman John Hegarty.

"We've done this to better explore and understand how new digital social environments work, and to challenge ourselves not just to talk digital but be digital," said the BBH director of content, Mark Boyd."Our aim also is to engage with the Second Life community and add value to it with interesting content."

Justin Bovington, the creative director at Rivers Run Red, said: "Many brands and agencies have tried to dump product into Second Life or asked to buy a billboard - proof they just don't understand the market."
"The big question for any brand or agency entering this space is what added value they can create - which is what makes BBH¹s move groundbreaking."

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