Starwood Hotels is doing something I think is innovative and interesting. They have a new hotel brand, Aloft, launching in 2008. In the meantime, they are creating a virtual simulation of the hotel in Second Life. What a cool idea - they will get feedback on the hotels ahead of time while creating significant buzz 2 years ahead of the actual hotel launch. Until something like this becomes common place, I think such "virtual launches" can be a useful way to market new products.
They are also blogging about their experience with the simulation.