Exactly a month ago, I went to a reunion for my alma mater in New York. At it, there was a presentation by Ms Melanie Hardman, who is an Innovation Director for PepsiCo.
After the presentation I taked briefly to Melanie and asked whether PepsiCo looked at advertising or sponsoring events in virtual worlds such as Second Life. I explained how the presence in SL worked really well for American Cancer Society and how the prime mover advantage was still available in that space. She made all the appropriate noises and even took my email down saying that she would like to follow up on that. Needless to say, I have never heard from her again.
So, it is no great surprise for me to hear that PepsiCo has been beaten for this first round by the Coca-Cola, who is sponsoring a live performance in Second Life.
I don’t really care for either brand of sugared water, but it is exciting for me to see that I predicted this happening well in advance.
Of course, I did not really have to predict it, as branding in the virtual world was well described good 10 years ago in a famous russian science fiction book Labyrinth of Reflections (Лабиринт отражений) by Sergey Lukyanenko. Lukyanenko is known outside of Russia for the movie Night Watch based on another one of his books.