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.