BES: One Year in Second Life®

It’s common these days to see real life companies throwing a big party when they complete their anniversaries in the Second Life® virtual world. Banco Espírito Santo, one of the leading financial institutions in Second Life, is no exception. What might be, indeed, an exception is how they have managed their virtual presence in SL.

When we picture in our minds most of the corporate virtual presences in SL, we imagine shiny, modern buildings, full of logos and links to websites, with lots of corporate information but little relevance to the virtual world where we spend our leisure time. The reality is, of course, different: these “first generation” virtual presences, created only for media splash, were actually short-lived, and most are gone or utterly changed. Most corporate presences these days focus on completely different things: either they show some projects they’re actively sponsoring (like Grundfos‘ educational project on saving water and energy); or simulations they’re doing either for themselves or their clients (like Vodafone’s link between SL-based mobile phones and RL mobile phones); or, well, for internal training, for workshops, seminars, and similar venues.

Banco Espírito Santo (BES) is slightly different. Sure, like all others, they want brand awareness. However, in real life, they are sponsors of all sorts of activities: charities, cultural events, educational events (they’re currently sponsoring a big project to get kids to read more, through the Ministry of Education), restoring monuments, and several similar areas. So it’s not unsurprising that they do precisely the same in Second Life, too.

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