Marketing and advertising inside of virtual worlds can represent a challenge on many levels. A major issue is the distributed nature of virtual worlds. Technological limitations preclude audience centralization, and a centralized audience has been the pillar upon which traditional mass market advertising campaigns stood. Where before the audience was fairly well guaranteed to be in a specific reachable space, either via radio, television, magazines, high volume web-sites or the various types of display advertising, now within three dimension virtual worlds the metaphor begins to break down. The audience no longer has mass effect as only a limited number of individuals can even be in the same virtual place at the same time. This creates a dilemma for marketers and advertisers looking to expand into this new and rapidly expanding medium.
On the traditional web based Internet, web pages have developed their own real-estate of top banners, side banners, pop-ups, and the like. The mass audience forms impressions from exposure to these central sources, which are readily turned into metrics based on the one-to-one nature of pages and navigation clicks. Virtual worlds have no such one-to-one relationship. There is the full range of three dimension space within which the avatar can move wherever and whenever they wish. This makes tracking and analysis of impression activity problematic.
AdSoft addresses these issues with the development of the first metrics backed mass distributed display based advertising platform for virtual worlds. The AdSoft system solves the problem of distributed audience with ubiquitous placement. By having your message everywhere, you can be seen by traditional mass-media numbers of people. The metrics problem is solved by using the enterprise capable virtual world metrics capture and analysis tool, V-Tracker which has been extensively customized for the AdSoft system. The AdSoft system includes advertising content management, advertising rotation queue management, terminal management, and reporting, all coupled with a multi-tier role based security system. All of these tools are available over the Web, with zero in-world activities necessary to change which ads specific terminals are displaying. A rotation of ads can be set up to run on thousands of terminals, across dozens of worlds, or play on just a single terminal in your temporary virtual venue hosted on your home machine, providing the ultimate in flexibility. AdSoft represents over ten years of effort, with work on Version 1.0 starting in December 2005 and controlled the largest advertising network to ever run on the Second Life platform. AdSoft is available for Open Sim, Unity, and High Fidelity virtual world environments, and can be easily ported to any Internet enabled 3D graphics/physics engine.