A few links and reminders first. Chris "Long Tail" Anderson spoke in Second Life today and I posted parts of the transcipt here. Starwood's Aloft is throwing a launch party for its Second Life hotel and here's the announcement (via Electric Sheep). If you haven't seen the new hotel yet, I posted a review a few days ago. If you are new to this blog and are wondering why I'm devoting so much space to Second Life, here's an even bigger piece of writing -- an entire thesis -- on in-game advertising.
And this is our feature presentation. Everyone knows that Adidas launched a store last month in Second Life (details here), but on October 3 the other part of Reebok-Adidas went virtual. Somehow it flew under the radar of the industry preoccupied with the announcements about the two ad agencies opening SL branches, but apparently quite a few SL observers have already posted about the new Reebok store (reBang, for example, and Brand Republic saw it coming, too). The Second Life Liberation Army has already conducted an operation against the new establishment.
Just like Adidas's, Reebok's store is an SL extension of a particular campaign. RBK Custom is similar to Nike iD in that it allows customers to customize their kicks, and Reebok's SL store, just like the website, is built to demonstrate that particular quality.
Like every other brand structure before it, Reebok store sits on its own Reebok island. Unlike other islands, Reebok's is set up, I imagine, to recreate the brand's real-life style (feel?) so the entire brand experience begins as soon as you land. The island is decorated with a delapidated urban grid with lovely public-housing-looking apartment buildings and a couple of basketball courts.
The courts, of course, are branded. The utterly empty city is very ghost-like as if it has just survived a nuclear fallout.
The streets are named to honor Reebok's spokespeople.
I guess the same can be said for the streets, but the parking lot looks particularly weird. It's a parking lot that is destined to remain empty forever because in SL no one is driving (well, NASCAR racers and other enthusiasts do, but they usually don't drive to shop).
Inside you'll find what has already become a typical commercial SL interior.
The store sells blank Reebok sneakers...
... that come in four different sizes. All for L$ 50 (1/6 of a dollar).
This is the extra large size.
To customize the shoes, you take them to the coloring machines and read the posters with instructions.
The interface is really interesting although it takes some time to get used to. You press the arrows to highlight a particular part of the shoe you want to color, then select the color you want. When you are happy with the result, you pay another L$ 5 to get the design transferred to your shoes. The machine doesn't color all the shoe sizes you have, only the one you are wearing at the moment.
The lack of any fashion sense aside, I'm happy with my custom Reeboks.