Virtual Commerce (V-Commerce) in Second Life: The Roles of Physical Presence and Brand-Self Connection

Seung-A Annie Jin, Justin Bolebruch

Abstract


Second Life, in a form of advergaming (a portmanteau of “advertising” and “gaming”), can be an innovative venue for marketing communication and brand management in virtual commerce (v-commerce). Virtual shopping malls in threedimensional (3D) environments provide interactive and immersive settings that complement strong offerings of electronic commerce. The ability to offer vivid and engrossing social interactions with spokes-avatars within 3D environments is the key
advantage of interactive marketing in Second Life. This study particularly focused on the “physical presence” (i.e., the degree to which consumers feel as if virtual products and retail settings were real) dimension of interactive brand marketing in 3D virtual environments and its impact on brand-self connection and consumers’ evaluation of a spokes-avatar’s credibility. Data analyses show that an increased level of physical presence positively influences consumers’ brand-self connection and evaluation of spokes-avatar credibility (expertise and trustworthiness) in 3D virtual environment-based brand marketing.

Keywords


V-commerce; Second Life; advergaming; brand marketing; physical presence; brand-self-connection

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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org