CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: PRIVATE SURF WITH ALASTAIR DUNCAN

By ALASTAIR DUNCAN, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 27 November 1998 12:00AM

MURPHY’S

MURPHY’S



My team looked at this site because I couldn’t think of much to say. As

we got drunker (on Murphy’s, fair enough) the conversation turned to

Charlie’s Angels. What was the bloke in it called? Answers on an e-mail

please. Trivia obsesses the net community.



So the sisters are going to brighten my day and my Murphy’s drinking,

are they? Er, no. This site is, I’m afraid, a little on the arrogant

side, expecting the TV commercial to be something people will really

want to download and watch again. Where’s the internet idea? OK, so I

could win a crate of Murphy’s if I could be arsed to write a story on

the subject of how the sisters could have met my needs down the pub. But

for most of the blokes out there, staying on this site ain’t one of

them. Sobering stuff.



Client: Whitbread Beer Company



Brief: Target young males as part of a mixed media campaign



Created by: Object 1



Address: www.sistersofmurphys.co.uk



CAPITAL RADIO



We looked at this in IE, build version 4.72.2106.8, at 800x600 screen

resolution, and even then the single page scrolled. Surely it’s not that

hard to think about the end-user rather than yourself, is it?



The Capital global site could be described as a portal. And it looks

like it’s been done in-house, too. Strategically, the site is a good way

to marshall the wide variety of sites in the Capital Radio stable, some

of which are hot, some of which are not.



There’s a drop-down list and link to every Capital business,



but not every Capital business has a website. Of course, the site

doesn’t tell you that - you find out for yourself.


Compared with the Virgin global website, the design is very weak.



I wonder if they used the Windows Clouds backdrop because it is an

umbrella site?



Client: Capital Radio



Brief: Bring interactive, music, showbiz, soccer and London features to

the station’s community



Created by: Capital Interactive



Address: www.capitalfm.com



ORANGE



Orange is running some nice TV ads using striking animation, so it was

interesting to see the banner advertising revert to the original launch

graphic styling, which can look very thin on the web. Particularly as

the media placement for this campaign was the Beeb Comedy Zone and

Capital FM, both very graphic-rich webspaces. It’s hard to notice the

banners.



I liked the creative thought behind the diminishing 50p and the

exploding phone, but as is often the case with banners, the execution

lets the campaign down. More importantly, so did the fulfilment. If you

click through, there’s a Java Script error, and then I couldn’t make a

connection to the secure server to buy one, even after three attempts.

Nice idea, poorly executed.



Client: Orange



Brief: Promote the Everyday 20 and Just Talk packages online



Created by: Orange and AKQA



Address: www.orange.co.uk



CELLNET U



Read this. Don’t read this. Click here. Don’t click here. You can’t fail

to notice the Cellnet U banners, refreshed into the same place as the

Orange ones. They’re big strong banners. And I’ve seen the other

advertising, so the whole campaign seems more rounded.



But the click-through reveals all, yet again. Is there another word for

brochureware? Read the press ad on the website. Don’t bother reading the

press ad on the website.



I’d hoped agencies had given up on this sort of thing. Look guys, you

still need an internet idea. Of course, you must make it part of the

campaign but don’t expect the press work simply to migrate, because it

rarely can.



Client: Cellnet



Brief: Show U as a distinct brand



Created by: Traffic Interactive



Address: www.u.cellnet.co.uk



VW BEETLE



When the first word on a site is ’welcome’, you know you’re in

trouble.



How would you like it if I started this review with ’Welcome to Private

Surf’? This is a page where I make comments about other people’s

work ...’ Web writers, get a thesaurus.



I’ve seen this vehicle - in a German hotel foyer of all places - and the

floating representation of it here is very odd, particularly the

attempts at a shadow. See for yourself.



My first look round didn’t reveal much. On my second attempt, I

discovered more reasonable content, which indicates the need for good

navigation at all levels. I liked the flashing lights game - Beetle

drivers have been doing this for years, so I guess this was the ’fun’

bit. But the other Flash movies were a bit pointless. There’s nothing

inspiring or original here, considering this car has such a fantastic

heritage.



Client: Volkswagen



Brief: Create an informative, exciting and fun site to generate a

following for the new Beetle



Created by: Deep End Design



Address: www.newbeetle.co.uk.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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