Players in the massively multiplayer virtual world will get a taste of the new hotel chain over a year before it opens its doors.
Starwood Hotels will launch a new hotel brand, aloft, in the massively multiplayer virtual world of Second Life over a year before the actual hotel opens its doors. The in-game implementation, called "aloft island," will be based on early designs and floor plans and will serve as a 3D dress rehearsal for the actual hotel.
Marketing services firm ElectricArtists led the in-game effort for the client, and has set up a Weblog to provide insight into its development at virtualaloft.com. The blog will focus on the specifics of creating a Second Life property as well as give interested parties a peek into the process.
"Knowing that there are a lot of people who are interested in SL and specifically how brands are approaching SL, we decided to 'open the curtains' and let people see the process that a brand goes through in building a property inside of a virtual world," said ElectricArtists CEO Marc Schiller, in an e-mail statement.
Starwood Hotels, the group behind the popular W hotel chain, will introduce aloft in 2008, yet Second Life avatars will be able to sample the hotel online starting in September of this year.
Second Life users manifest as hyper-personalized avatars in a 3D virtual world and have the ability to purchase and personalize real estate with "Linden Dollars," the official currency of game space. Second Life creations, which range from utopian dream homes to dragon-like avatars, can be bought and sold on the Second Life market since each user owns the IP Rights to his/her creations.
Starwood is not the first brand to play in Second Life. Almost a year ago, Wells Fargo built a branded role-playing game within the massively multiplayer universe.
Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Zhenya Gene Senyak of www.senyak.com is a bipolar writer/marcom pro based in a formerly lazy California chicken farming river town. A ClickZ writer, he's also the author of Prentice-Hall's "Inside Public Relations" and Public Relations Journal articles on cognitive dissonance and fear appeals, and is a contributor to Business 2.0, OMNI, Home Office Computing, Publish, and other onlineand offline media.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
March 24, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT