Altoids, the mint, is embarking on a Second Life branding campaign with a difference – it is sponsoring Gay Pride Month inside the virtual world.

The month-long festival is being staged by The L Word, a lesbian TV drama set in Hollywood that also airs on LivingTV in the UK.

The mint maker’s branding will be associated with a variety of events and games inside the 3D environment, including a carnival, a date auction, a gay prom and parades.

Other features of the promotion include virtual kissing booths, treasure hunts, a video screen showing real-life gay pride parades and a contest to create the best parade float, with the winner earning 100 Linden dollars.

The craze for Second Life marketing opportunities shows little sign of abating, with US broadband provider Comcast announcing it had created an island, Comcastic Island, in the virtual world on which it has placed a theme park.

But Altoids’ effort mimics real-world event sponsorships and sees the brand used all around the festival’s digital space. It is using Flickr to post a gallery of photos from the festival.

It comes as Flickr parent Yahoo! also seeks to associate itself with LGBT events. The portal giant’s new gay section pushes links to gay-related questions at Yahoo! Answers, pride events listed at Yahoo!’s Upcoming calendar site, dates at Yahoo! Personals and a community at MyBlogLog.

Yahoo! has also made available a range of clothes members can use to dress their site avatar, which is used at network destinations like Yahoo! Answers.

Pride London is held on June 30.