So businesses don’t think Second Life is worth investing their time and money in?
Tell that to Dentsu and the financial community in Japan.
The Japanese advertising firm is launching ‘Virtual Tokyo,’ a virtual megalopolis that will open its doors tomorrow August 24 in Second Life.
A report in the Financial Times says Dentsu is hoping to glean valuable marketing information from their online venture and tap into its vast client base, which includes many of Japanâ€™s blue-chip companies, to create a virtual presence in the Japanese city:
[…] Dentsu, which spent about Â¥10m ($870,000) to acquire the 85 hectares in Virtual Tokyo, is aiming to recoup its investment by lining up 30 or so blue-chip companies to build a virtual presence within the first year.
[Ken] Aihara [who leads the Virtual Tokyo team at Dentsu] said: â€œWeâ€™re aiming to create a virtual Japanese Wall Street, where major Japanese financial institutions will have a presence.
â€œFor example, users would be able to negotiate a virtual home mortgage with a bank to then buy a virtual flat.â€
Analysts said the marketing and advertising potential on the Japanese version of Second Life could be enormous. The monetary value of Second Life is expected to grow from Â¥135bn in 2007 to Â¥1,250bn in 2008, according to Mizuho Corporate Bank.
Ambitious plans for a virtual world that naysayers in the US and Europe believe has little or no future from a business point of view.
Let’s see what Dentsu can do.