CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: THE INTERACTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE IN ASSOCIATION WITH ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH. From a digital goldfish to virtual kiosks, new-media professionals pick 1997’s winning interactive efforts

What has been your favourite piece of interactive communication this year?

What has been your favourite piece of interactive communication

this year?



My favourite interactive communication this year is a community located

at www.wbs.net. By careful combination of member-created, vendor-created

and organiser-created content, this site has delivered true customer

value from relationship-based interactivity.



James Tarin



director of strategy,



Clarity Communications,



james@marketing.co.uk



Check out Hewlett Packard’s new desktop pet goldfish for a fresh

approach. It’s certainly a hit with my assistant Sarah (the little

fella’s even taken the place of her George Clooney screen saver). But

the most exciting piece of interactive work I’ve seen in a while is the

’Tickle Me Elmo’ doll from Sesame Street. You simply tickle his tummy

and he giggles and shakes so much, his batteries almost fall out. Tickle

Me Elmo from Tyco. Don’t turn up for Christmas without one.



Marcus Vinton



group creative director, interactive creative director, Ogilvy &Mather,

marcus.vinton@ogilvy.com



My interactive communication of the year is one that nobody else on the

Net has accessed. How do I know? Because I created it according to my

own peculiar whims. Yahoo! (http://my.yahoo.com/) enables Net users to

create personalised news pages with a couple of clicks and, even though

it’s primarily based on US content, there’s enough UK news to keep

Anglo-philes up to date on UK events during the day. It’s fast, it’s

free, it’s always there, it never crashes my browser and I don’t need

half a dozen plug-ins to view it.



Best of all, it’s all mine - but you can have one, too.



Richard Longhurst



editor, .net,rlonghurst@futurenet.co.uk



The general level of interactive work is improving pretty rapidly, but

often the strength of the work is limited to one particular element.

Railtrack.co.uk, for example, is terrific in functional terms but as a

brand communication it’s a bit dull. On the plus side, at least it

doesn’t fall into the trap of using gimmicks for the sake of it.

Something quite simple that did catch my eye was a very engaging

price-checkpoint in a US toy store.



This was a kiosk incorporating a bar-code reader in the guise of a

cartoon character who spoke to you. It’s a simple solution to a common

problem and a lot more helpful than ill-informed sales staff.



Mike Crossman



managing director, Bates Interactive,



mcrossma@bates-dorland.co.uk



The RAC site (www.rac.co.uk) is a prime illustration of a blue-chip

company spearheading the move from the old wave of ’brochureware’ sites

to those offering true one-to-one marketing dialogue with the customer.

The site, using the key theme of mobility, offers the viewer innovative

value-added content - chat rooms, personalised traffic information, tips

for insuring your car or buying one second-hand - as well as providing a

channel for communicating RAC services to consumers. Moreover, the site

is an excellent example of the Web being used as a centrepiece for a

strategic change in brand positioning.



Paul Simon



managing director, TSMSi,



paul.simon@tsms.co.uk



Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight Odyssey system is a superb example of

entertaining interactive media, even if it does benefit from a captive

audience. It’s a great demonstration of how to get started with the

available technology rather than waiting around until the ’perfect’

platform comes along. The user interface, by BT, sucks, but what the

hell. Watch GI Jane or play non-stop Tetris for five hours with drinks

on tap? As Terence Stamp says, ’You’ve made tougher decisions than

this.’



Robert Hamilton



technical director, Indexfinger,



robert@indexfinger.com.



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