In an open communications network such as the Internet, an interface server site (40) provides advertising for consumer products. The interface server site (40) has virtual character profiles of a central character and connected characters and additionally has a virtual environment within which the central character and the connected characters interact. The central character is based on the consumer affinity characteristics of a target segment of consumers to whom it is desired to advertise the consumer products. The virtual central character has a portrayed lifestyle in which that character is depicted with the consumer products in an environment which the target segment of consumers will identify as relevant to them. Electronic transaction facilities are provided to enable a consumer to purchase products depicted in the virtual environment and selected by the consumer. Electronic mail facilities are provided to the virtual characters at the interface server site (40).
|Patent number||EP 0 902 383 A2|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Mar 1999|