A group of new media luminaries have teamed up to launch a new kind of marketing company.
Taking the idea of drinking the Kool-Aid to new heights, a newly formed marketing company has launched simultaneously in the real world and online as part of the Second Life virtual world. Crayon LLC intends to provide its customers with a marketing "mash-up," with expertise revolving around blogs, online promotions, games, and other interactive media.
Crayon created its own "Crayonville Island" in the Second Life virtual world, and held a launch party there last week, complete with speeches and virtual drinks.
"We had a waiting list and were fully booked. I gave a speech," Joseph Jaffe, president and founder of Crayon, told ClickZ. "We don't just talk about the stuff, we walk it. That is so core to what we are. We are a company of bloggers, and podcasters and Second Life users. It's beyond drinking the Kool-Aid. It literally defines us."
Besides Jaffe, a blogger, marketing consultant and author of Life After the 30-Second Spot, Crayon founders include Citigroup alum Gary Cohen, Crayon's CEO; UK-based PR and social media guru Neville Hobson, one of Crayon's four VPs of new marketing, along with PR and CGM pro Shel Holtz, podcasting expert C.C. Chapman, and Hollywood talent vet Christopher Trela.
Jaffe said Crayon intends to attract clients who are looking for alternative means of advertising beyond traditional ads. Initial clients include Coca-Cola and GSD&M.
Despite the virtual launch of the company, Jaffe concedes that the Second Life virtual world, which is more oriented around virtual gamers than businessmen, will be used mostly as a tool for Crayon employees and clients to interact from around the country.
"We're not a virtual company. We have offices in Westport, [Connecticut], in Boston, in Menlo Park, [New Jersey], in New York City, because we have people there," he said. "But Second Life is where we meet for status meetings. It's where we're going to stage our events."
"The only way to really appreciate and understand these new marketing approaches is to actually do it. To be a part of it and experience it," Jaffe said.
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