TV Networks plans to be a leader in popularizing virtual worlds. The company is creating 3D virtual worlds based on its shows, where people can interact via avatars and create their own story lines. The worlds provide digital landscapes where advertisers can integrate their brands seamlessly.
“We believe that this is going to profoundly change the way brands like MTV interact with their audience,” Matt Bostwick, senior vice president for franchise development at MTV Networks’ Music Group, told a packed room at a recent Virtual Worlds conference in New York.
In April, MTV debuted a virtual version of “Pimp My Ride,” and later this year will air Virtual Logo, a 3D world tied to its gay-oriented cable network. The virtual environments are built on Makena Technologies’ There.com platform, but remain separate.
So far, more than 600,000 users have registered for the first two virtual shows. In terms of engagement, MTV execs describe a marketer’s fantasy: 99 percent of virtual-world users are exposed to brands and 85 percent opt to interact with them.
The level of consumer interaction driven by the medium “will reshape the whole notion of advertising,” assures Bostwick.