CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: Interactive Gallery Reviewed by Mike Beeston

By MIKE BEESTON, a director at CHBi, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 December 1997 12:00AM

LEGAL & GENERAL.

LEGAL & GENERAL.



’Customers trust us to deliver,’ claims the home page. Do they now?



Well, for the rest of us, the Website is an opportunity for Legal &

General to show it lives up to its promises. It just scrapes in.



At first, the grotesque icons put me off. They don’t get any better

after the home page and you may want to convince yourself they were

designed to achieve cult status. Thankfully, the text links appear first

and you can navigate quickly around the site without having an oversized

piggy bank vying for attention on the screen. The content might be

’dullsville’, but it’s extensive and useful.



Overall, it’s a bit dated for what is a ’third generation’ site. Sure,

it allows customers to manage their flexible reserve mortgage accounts

and test different mortgage options. But it has that leftover feeling -

it’s as if the design and navigation were executed a year before the

content and functionality.



Client: Legal & General



Brief: Incorporate more interactivity into the site and learn from what

customers have told us



Created by: Black Sun



Programming by: In-house team



Address: legal-and-general.co.uk



GREENPEACE.



Campaign ran a story about Greenpeace’s increasing use of the Web in

response to the Advertising Standards Authority’s intervention in its

campaigns in the press (21 November). I’m not sure this site qualifies

as an advertisement.



The closest parallel is one of those ’act now before it’s too late’

displays that you see anywhere from rock festivals to country fairs

(does the ASA monitor these?). As such, it’s a working Website designed

to inform us of the dangers of pollution.



Although the ecological theme is a bit of a jumble, the design isn’t

really the point. You can’t go wrong with the simple navigation. But I

thought more room could have been given to the text and more links

in-corporated into related sites on the Web and other Greenpeace

activities. A valiant effort, although a little more thought could have

made the site work harder.



Client: Greenpeace



Brief: Support a campaign against dumping at sea



Created by: Knowhaus



Address: www.greenpeace. org/oceandumping



HMV.



Sad though it is, I spend hours exploring the furthest reaches of music

sites in search of obscure CDs at bargain prices. Much less hard work

than going to stores - and more likely to end successfully. I can’t be

alone since the market is big enough to support a dozen or so music

sites, including this belated entry from HMV.



Until some time next year - an eternity in Webworld - you can’t buy

direct from the site. It’s just as well as it gives HMV time to sort out

the clunky navigation, unnecessary graphics and sparse content.



By itself, this might pass as a ’primer’ for a transaction site.



The look and feel of the design is great and it’s good to see some

promotional content. However, HMV should take a look at the competition

to see how to deliver a working Website. Otherwise, I fear a standing

start.



Client: HMV



Brief: Offer a comprehensive information service to all customers via

the Web



Created by: Sunbather



Address: www.hmv.co.uk



GREY DIRECT.



Although I had minimal expectations from the ’world’s first direct

marketing site’, I was surprised by a decent splash screen leading to a

questionnaire, the answers to which trigger the selection of relevant

sections of the site. For example, I tell the site that my interest is

’motors’, and I am provided with case histories of Grey Direct’s work in

the motor industry. While this falls short of a breakthrough, it is at

least an involving idea predicated on the benefits of the medium.



But, having been set up for a valuable five-minute insight, I was

underwhelmed by the delivery. I had been led to expect more and, even

though the copy was good and I was able to zip around the site, I was

left feeling I missed out on something. Maybe I did.



Client: Grey Direct



Brief: Create a site that demonstrates the power of direct marketing

rather than waffles on about the theory



Created by: Gr@y New Media



Address: www.greydirect.co.uk



FREEWAY.



This Website introduces a purchasing scheme for new cars. A

CGI-generated form enables you to see what you can afford, there are

some nice promotional touches, and you can e-mail Freeway to take up

their offer.



I’m all for working Websites and I tend to think that what a site does

is much more important than how it’s presented. This site highlights the

need to be careful with both. It opens right in my face by asking how

much I can afford per month. Sod off.



The home page materialises with a bunch of tacky icons and I’m given a

selection of phoney sounding testimonials. I don’t usually bother much

with testimonials but this time I felt the need for reassurance. I duly

found a link to three vaguely relevant quotes, one dating back more than

a year.



There are some really good ideas and functions here, but the Freeway

site got my back up and the design values are cold, dull and mechanical.

This is certainly not the way to persuade me to part with my hard-earned

pennies.



Client: Freeway



Brief: Create the first car showroom in cyberspace



Created by: Walsh Simmons Interactive



Address: www.freeway.ltd.uk.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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