A couple of interesting partnerships between real world companies and Second Life companies that, I think, give back to the SL community in a positive way.
The first is a partnership between Aspire! Modeling Agency (SL Company) and L'Oreal Paris (RL Company). Aspire! is hosting a search for the avatar to become "Miss Second Life L'Oreal Paris Glamour". Entries are being pre-screened by Aspire! who will select the final 20. A pageant will then be held on Aspire Island (on a L'Oreal branded catwalk) and the winner will be selected. The winning avatar will receive a modeling contract with Aspire and the avatar's typist will receive a year's supply of L'Oreal cosmetics.
The deadline for the initial submissions has passed; the finalist pageant will be held on March 31, 2007.
I like this promo for a couple of reasons. First, a partnership between strong SL and RL brands. Aspire is the best known modeling agency in SL (if you don't think that avatars take their fashion very seriously, you are mistaken). Aspire has a lot to bring to the table. It's a great fit for L'Oreal who doesn't have to make their own island, try to have people take them seriously and figure out how to deal with some of the mechanics of SL. They can concentrate what they are good at .. cosmetics and fashion. Modeling jobs are hard to get, so its a great opportunity for avatars. And the SL fashion community will get a great show on March 31! Keep up to date on this contest over at the Aspire! blog.
The second promotion is in conjunction with the release of the movie 300. Adam n Eve, a UK firm specialising in SL avatar, skin, hair and fashion, have created avatars for the stars of the movies who participated in a live chat event in SL. They also created free Spartan costumes for male and female avatars that can be picked up over in the Spartan build on Silverscreen island.
This promo is a really good fit with the SL community. First, they are giving something interesting and unique to the community. The costumes are great and the Spartan build is really stunning (if you're in SL, go check it out - seach for Silverscreen). There is a lot of opportunity for movie company's to come into SL, hire indigenous SL designers and developers, and create something really special for the community. I hope they leave the Sparta build up - I think that's one danger, to get rid of something like that too quickly. Or let a group of fans take it over and continue to extend it. Talk about a great co-creation opportunity!