Last Friday evening’s Die Hard 4 virtual press conference and expo launch in Second Life was a great example of how this virtual medium can work well when you have some real imagination and execute a good plan of organization.
The event featured a live Q&A session with Bruce Willis, the star of the film. As with the 300 movie event in Second Life in March, this event featured a moderator who fielded text questions from the assembled journalists, bloggers and contest winners (yes, there had been a contest for Die Hard fans to win a place at this virtual launch and ‘meet’ Bruce). The answers came in the spoken word from Bruce Willis via a real-time audio stream.
This was the scene about half an hour before Bruce Willis’ avatar arrived and things kicked off. I reckon there were about 60 people there, close to the capacity limit of a Second Life sim.
Judging from the text chat scrolling up the screen, they came from all over the world, from North America, South America, Europe, Japan and other points east.
The interest of people to be there was really interesting. Clicking on people’s profiles, I found few showing recent Second Life sign-up, ie, most I saw had been resident for some months at least. A very different picture to the 300 event where the majority of journalists who participated had signed up for the first time literally that day or, at most, a few days prior.
Once Bruce Willis arrived, the floodgate opened on questions. He was a terrific sport, answering questions and talking for well over 45 minutes.
During the Q&A session, I twittered a bit (actually, twitku’d would be a better word) including some instant quick posts on some of the things Willis said:
At the Die Hard 4 press conference in Second Life. Bruce is late! 01:32 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Lot of avatars here, i reckons about 60. Many nationalities. But still no Bruce. 01:35 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Yay! Bruce Willis finally arrived! 01:41 AM June 02, 2007
Questions for Bruce Willis coming faster and faster. Lots of them. 01:46 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Bruce sounds knackered. Must be that 5-week press tour he wasn’t looking forward to. 01:51 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Bruce: “Version 2.0 of Holly McClane in Lucy McClane” in DH4. 01:55 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Bruce: “This is a very cool way to interact with my fans.” 01:58 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Bruce: “Everything has become entertainment including the news.” 02:00 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Q: If you could be one movie hero who would it be? Bruce answers: Steve McQueen. 02:05 AM June 02, 2007 from web
Q: Are you a Mac or a PC? Bruce answers: A Mac. 02:13 AM June 02, 2007 from web
DH4 press conference in SL just concluded. Very neat. Bruce Willis was great. 02:17 AM June 02, 2007 from web
I grabbed quite a few screenshots during the briefing, as well as some scenes from around the excellent Die Hard 4 Expo that had been created and which opened at Silverscreen on Friday. The pics are all up on Flickr.
I have seen few media reports or blog posts so far about Friday’s event, which surprises me a bit. But in any event, I think it was a great way to connect Bruce Willis and the new Die Hard movie with fans as well as mainstream media and interested social media types.
Kudos to Dan Light and the team at The PPC for imagining it all!
Great that you could make it along on friday, and thanks for the write-up. I couldn’t believe how patient people were. The vast majority seemed highly sympathetic to the challenge of executing an event like this working with somebody of his profile.
I think you pick up in a couple of places on what really made this event interesting, and ultimately effective. The audience mix was much more fan-led than anything we’ve done before now, which allowed us to partner some great sites promoting the opportunity for seasoned fans to meet Bruce within Second Life, at the expense of some of the blogger and digital media coverage we might aim to achieve by having a greater representation of press in attendance.
At the moment it feels like this approach paid off – the reason it was such a fun event is undoubtedly because of the raw enthusiasm the fans brought to the mix. I thought they asked some of the most interesting and entertaining questions, and I’m pretty sure listening back to his answers that Bruce felt the same way. Speaking of which, you can get the freshly posted podcast of this event on the Silverscreen blog right here.
We’re also seeing some great mainstream coverage of the event materialising – France’s ’20 Minutes’ daily newspaper is running a major feature tomorrow, not to mention ‘Bee Dub’ giving the whole of Denmark a YIPPIE-KAY-AY on national television yesterday (you can watch the item online here – scroll down to the item marked ‘Bruce Willis giver pressekonference i cyberspace’). Ultimately this is great raw media value for Fox, but it’s also very refreshing that a flavour of the event is making it into these channels, hopefully giving people a sense of what a fun place Second Life can be, and of the unique opportunities that exist there for anybody who’s ever been a fan of something or someone.
I’ll be blogging more about this in coming days and weeks on the Silverscreen blog, but for now it’s reassuring to see that, as one of relatively few notable bloggers present, the value you took from the event was not diluted by the presence of the fans, but the enjoyment amplified.
[…] LinksHeat 2Batman returnsWho is getting more of the news?AdvocacyLoving LinksIâ€™ll be back Loving Links Monday June 04th 2007, 9:42 am Filed under: Links 1. Neville Hobson – Bruce Willis a great sportin Second Life. A great marketing technique considering Die Hard 4’s baddies are a group of hackers […]
Dan, thanks for posting a link to the recording of the Q&A. I was hoping that would be available.
Yes, it was very interesting to see how patient everyone was with the delay in Bruce Willis getting there. A lot to be said for being a fan rather than ‘just a reporter’ :)
Again, terrific event!
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