For teens who want to feel like grown-ups—and don’t they all?—a small startup animation company, Evil Twin Studios in San Francisco, has an idea: a groovy new virtual club called the Pussycat Dolls Lounge. Kids can build their own virtual characters, make their own virtual small talk, even get kicked out of the virtual club on their virtual asses. What’s in it for advertisers? Sponsorship deals, logo and product placements—on everything from what the kids want to drink or to what they choose to wear. Marketers could even launch products or get feedback within the game. And the opportunities could extend outside the club itself, into players’ virtual pads, where they get to throw some crazy parties (with customizable décor and music, of course) without the hassle of messy cleanup or real-world cops. But will it catch on, given the millions of other distractions, real and otherwise, that teens already have?
—Posted by Manuela Oprea