March 12, 2008

Second Life - Life for Tourism?

Marketing Travel In Second Life

Daniele Mancini, corporate E-Business Director, Costa Crociere S.p.A. had a great presentation at PhoCusWright. He opened my eyes to the level of large corporate web 2.0 marketing.

Costa is a massive cruise supplier, they have 18 ships and 11 more being built. They are pioneers (for a large company anyways) in utilizing online marketing to connect with their consumers. Their b2c marketing efforts included blogs, Youtube contests, online community interaction, and a Second Life presence including owning property and cruise ships.

This post focuses on their Second Life efforts. Costa utilized this new world in an innovative way, they reproduced a press conference and ship launch within Second Life and paired it with a real world launch, fireworks and all.

Their Second Life developments included:


  • Offer a virtual experience for residents
  • events
  • contests
  • Training for travel agents
  • Lesson for 15 minutes
  • Guided tour of the shop

Kevin May, editor of Travolution had the insight to ask “So ow many people attended the launch?” There was not a quantitative answer, but Daniele claimed that Second Life “offers good value for advertising” when compared to traditional media. Daniele then stated that he has changed his Secondlife marketing efforts from B2C to strictly B2B. This hardly seems like there was a good ROI if they have canceled their B2C campaign all together.

Gregory Turley, CEO of was discussing this online marketing phenomenon with me; we both agreed that the people who invest much time in Secondlife, are probably not likely to be interested in the Travel Industry. I pointed out that most of the people that are integrated in a Second Life may be more interested in technology and have less of an interest in real world experiences, but maybe I am wrong. What do you think? Have you found that Second Life offers a good return on your marketing investment?

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