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Sears invades Second Life - Will my clothes washer break there too?

3pointD is reporting from CES that Sears will be joining the ranks of companies with too much advertising budget to justify any ROI setting up shop on in Second Life, courtesy of IBM. The concept is actually pretty cool, which is a virtual kitchen makeover using your a model of your kitchen. Well, not really a model of your kitchen unless your name is Max Headroom, but you get the point.

Seriously, though, who really thinks this is going to help sell more appliances? Check the reviews on Epinions and the like. Read some blogs. People aren't happy with the quality of the appliances and service from Sears. Want to correct that? Take the Second Life ad budget and put it toward non-plastic parts that hold up longer than six months. (Personal rant: How about resolving problems on the first call instead of the tenth by passing me back and forth between a district manager, store manager and corporate? I finally called their PR department and got my issue resolved.)

Back to the story: I agree with Steve's take that the barrier to entry for most users is too high to make this practical; it would have been cheaper nice to see a Flash version of this on their website instead.

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