Thursday, March 22, 2007

Calvin Klein Launches Scents in Second Life

The nose knows nothing in virtual worlds, but that hasn’t stopped Calvin Klein from launching a virtual version of their new ck IN2U fragrances for men and women in Second Life, according to a press release. The virtual launch accompanies the real-world launch of the same scents today, March 21. Since avatars can’t smell, the virtual perfume bottles will enable SL users to spray each other with bubbles that “initiate dialogue,” as the release puts it — probably requesting the sprayee to engage in a Calvin Klein animation. There will also be “graffiti bottles” available from the Calvin Klein build, put together by Justin Bovington’s Rivers Run Red on their Avalon island in Second Life, where Calvin Klein is holding a L$1 million photography contest to accompany the launch. Finally, if you’re in the UK you’ll be able to click through to a Web site and order a free sample.

Why Second Life? As Lori Singer, Calvin Klein Fragrances’ VP of Global Marketing, puts it in the release, “ck IN2U speaks the language of a generation connected by technology — the aptly named technosexuals.” Unfortunately, she also goes on to note that Calvin Klein has trademarked that word — not an indication that the company is completely in step with the generation it’s trying to reach.

Singer does point out something very interesting, however: “They are the first generation to be defined more by their means of communication rather than fashion or music.” This is actually a great observation about the cohort I occasionally refer to as “the 3pointD generation.” The technological “revolution” is just that: it’s the strongest force affecting the culture of the developed world at the moment. Whether this also means punters wants their perfume in pixels remains to be seen. Smell you later.

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