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Pontiac's Motorati Island Debuts in Late November

October 2006
 Filed under: PONTIAC Car News | PONTIAC Headlines
Pontiac's Motorati Island Debuts in Late November with Free "Land" for Auto EntrepreneursDETROIT, Oct. 20, 2006 — Pontiac is getting into real estate – but not in the way most would expect. It’s joining a small group of trendsetting companies buying virtual real estate in Second Life, an online, 3-D world entirely built and owned by the residents that inhabit it. Pontiac’s Second Life presence will launch with a six-region land mass called Motorati Island. But, Pontiac’s arrival will come with a twist: an offer of free “land” for Second Lifers to create a vibrant car culture within the community.
Staying true to the spirit of Second Life, which empowers members to build the community, Pontiac is providing parcels of land around Motorati Island to Second Life entrepreneurs and artists who wish to create their own projects devoted to car culture. The process for land proposals begins when users are invited to the island’s micro site,, to begin the submission process. Pontiac will review user’s proposed projects and appropriate land accordingly on which users can go forth and develop their own ideas, as they relate to the Motorati community.

“Our mission is to work with the Second Life community to create a place for car lovers that doesn’t exist today,” said Mark-Hans Richer, marketing director at Pontiac. “However, our approach isn’t to be a ‘me too, marketer’ and simply have a presence in the space. Rather, we want to empower the car community in Second Life and develop with them in a unique and meaningful manner. We aren’t completely creating the experience – the Second Life users are. We’re just providing the inspiration.”

In addition to the community based projects, Pontiac will create its own presence on the island. Plans are in development to build a futuristic Pontiac “dealership,” selling customizable versions of the newly introduced Pontiac Solstice GXP. Owners can then test their new purchases on a high-performance test track, fully modify them and even showcase them in a public gallery. The Pontiac Garage music stage in New York City’s Times Square will be replicated in this space and act as a venue for live music performances by real artists in the form of their Second Life avatars.

“Our hope is to unleash the community’s passion for cars,” said Tor Myhren, executive vice president, executive creative director at Leo Burnett Detroit. “We envision weekly competitive driving events, drive-in theaters playing car related films, machinima film studios, car-themed fashion shows, live concerts, drive-in restaurants, you name it. If an idea relates to any aspect of car culture, we intend to give the community the means to make it happen.”

In November, Second Life citizens selected for land development will begin building their projects. Pontiac’s presence in Second Life will officially launch to the virtual public with a major multi-medium grand opening event. The event will leverage several of Pontiac’s current media assets and partnerships, and details will be announced at a later date.

Pontiac’s web presence off Second Life will coincide with the virtual world at The microsite will provide an open window into Pontiac’s Second Life efforts as they develop throughout the campaign. Beginning in November, the general public will also be able to join the unique virtual community via the Motoratilife website, which will link directly to the Motorati Island in Second Life.

Pontiac’s advertising agency Leo Burnett Detroit is leading the project and collaborating with award-winning branded entertainment agency, Campfire (New York City and Orlando), to bring the campaign to Second Life and create a community in which users can engage and participate. Additional partners helping execute the campaign are Second Life developers Millions of Us ( Sausalito) and web developers Domani Studios ( New York City). The Second Life initiative follows on the heels of Pontiac’s all digital G5 launch earlier this month, also coordinated by LBD, as another component in its non traditional marketing approach.

“Bringing together Pontiac, Campfire and Second Life is consistent with our agency’s approach to focusing on strategy and the big idea, then bringing in the resources necessary to make it work,” said Myhren.

The growing popularity of Second Life, created by Linden Lab, presents a unique marketing opportunity for companies like Pontiac. It’s owned and developed by the more than one million users that inhabit it, and has a real economy, real social dynamics and the feeling of reality for its residents. Second Life is growing at a rate of 20 percent month over month. The residents of Second Life own virtual land and participate in an online economy. Users pay for items through the use of Linden dollars, the true currency of Second Life, which can be accrued in various ways, including the use of actual credit cards – which generate approximately $6 million a month at Second Life.

About Pontiac

Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the G6 Sedan, G6 Coupe, Solstice, Torrent, GTO, Grand Prix, Vibe, Montana SV6 and now the G6 retractable hardtop convertible. Pontiac sold more than 435,000 vehicles in 2005, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found on the division's website at and in Spanish at .

About LBD

Leo Burnett’s Detroit office creates advertising and integrated marketing communications programs for clients including Pontiac, GM Service and Parts Operations, GM Powertrain in the US. Global management of GM brands from the Detroit office includes Chevrolet in more than 45 countries, Cadillac in 26 countries, and HUMMER in 12 countries.

About Campfire

Campfire is a branded entertainment company that helps advertisers, agencies and publishers rethink advertising through active audience engagement. They’ve created some of the most highly recognizable campaigns recently, including Beta-7 for Wieden Kennedy/ESPN/SEGA; Sharp More to See for Wieden/Sharp; Uncomplicate for McCann/Levi’s; and The Art of the Heist for McKinney + Silver/Audi.

Source: Pontiac

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