CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC - Admen fail to transfer offline branding on to their online offerings

By JOHN OWEN, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 27 November 1998 12:00AM

This week’s Private Surf by Alastair Duncan makes depressing reading. Can some of the current best advertisers in the UK - Volkswagen, Cellnet, Orange - really be so off the mark with their online output? Well, the best thing you could do is check out their work for yourself. But for what it’s worth, here’s my view.

This week’s Private Surf by Alastair Duncan makes depressing

reading. Can some of the current best advertisers in the UK -

Volkswagen, Cellnet, Orange - really be so off the mark with their

online output? Well, the best thing you could do is check out their work

for yourself. But for what it’s worth, here’s my view.



Sadly, I can’t argue with Duncan’s negative take on the Volkswagen

Beetle site. As the man who brought you the innovative Mini site a

couple of years ago, he’s ideally qualified to review the new UK site

for the only other car still in existence which comes close to having a

similar heritage to the Mini.



The Beetle site conveys nothing of the quirkiness of the brand, nor the

passion of its legion of fans. It needed to be bold, cheeky and a bit on

the daft side. Instead, it’s corporate, clean and could be for any car

launch. An opportunity missed.



Even worse, however, is the Murphy’s site. I had high hopes for this

one. Here, I thought, is an advertiser who understands the importance of

the web to its target (young male) audience - which has created an

eye-catching TV campaign that will certainly appeal to them and which

has extended the offline work seamlessly online.



I’m sure that was the intention and it is a laudable one. But putting up

images from the TV ads, creating a few mindless games and giving the

user the opportunity to download the afore-mentioned TV ad does not

constitute integration.



Duncan also highlights the lack of integration in the Orange

campaign.



While the TV commercials have moved on from the rather staid, if classy,

work of former times, the online offering retains the old style. Surely,

if you’re going to change your image so radically on TV, you ought to

carry that through online.



Perhaps the fault lies in the fact that Orange uses two different

agencies for its offline and online work.



Cellnet and Capital, unlike Orange, have both got their strategies

right.



In Capital’s case, the creation of a portal is spot-on but some of the

content is quite weak, betraying a triumph of ambition over

capacity.



Typical of this is the Capital Gold Sport ’joke’ (something along the

lines of ’Old Trafford is a great place. The only problem is that the

seats face the pitch’).



Cellnet, meanwhile, stands accused by Duncan of putting a press ad

online.



I think that’s a little harsh. The ’click here, don’t click here’ line

may be obvious but that doesn’t make it bad. Sometimes it pays to be

obvious, although the art direction on the internet ad could do with a

little more love and attention.



So, all in all, I’m not too depressed. At least three out of these five

know what they ought to be doing, even if they’re not doing it perfectly

yet.



Have your say on channel six of CampaignLive at www.campaignlive.com.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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