Drink Giant Delves into Second Life


Adult beverage maker Diageo starts marketing in Second Life and discusses gaming in the workplace.

Diageo, the alcoholic beverage corporation famous for Captain Morgan, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker, has launched a campaign to increase its presence with customers within Second Life.

Robin Dargue, Diageo’s Chief Information Officer, discussed the increasing importance of reaching what he calls “digital natives,” or the users of virtual worlds. “The changing face of our consumers, I have a real issue with. These people don’t watch TV so I can’t advertise to them. That is a problem if you are in FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods]. This is a world of digital marketing.”

The company is drawing a strong line between branding and marketing to youths. “The worry isn’t around technology and robustness but corporate governance and reputation,” Dargue stated.

A large part of what drew Diageo to enter the digital world was the popularity of them within the organization. But the popularity of the games also posed security problems for Diageo’s own internal network. “We sponsor virtual bars. But you can’t get into Second Life from the Diageo network. The marketing guys have to go home to get onto Second Life … but the security guys are protecting the organization.”

Bill Nagel, a researcher at Forrester IT, commented on the dangers posed by gaming in the workplace. “Not all information needs to be protected. Only put high-levels of security around data you cannot afford to lose. Consumer technology is very useful and is not going to go away.”

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