Vauxhall has created a World Cup site in support of its event

sponsorship and a thorough job it has done too. Alas, the design is

cluttered and confusing. There are mysterious buttons, frames and

whizzing graphics everywhere. Add in the oversized banner frame

plastered to the bottom of the screen and the core content was reduced

to a three-inch high portion in the middle of the screen.

However, my effort at navigating the site was rewarded with some golden

nuggets. The site is split into four sections: fever, fans, tension and

games. The fans section contains an excellent travel section produced in

partnership with Rough Guides. The fever section looked dull but closer

inspection revealed a no-holds barred forum area.

It’s all linked together by the ’TeamWC98’, which is a slightly cheesy

online club. Overall, though, I came to appreciate this, the Denmark of

sites, not especially attractive but capable of triumphing.

Client: General Motors Europe

Brief: Create a credible football site that drives people into


Design & Systems: Online Magic

URL: www.wc98. com


If I was lucky enough to advise Snickers then I’d tell them to find a

content partner with real credibility to create a site for them. Sky

seems like the ideal choice: Budweiser obviously thinks so because it’s

partnered with Sky online.

Unfortunately, the Bud sponsorship is about the best thing the site has

to offer. The branding is simple but not intrusive, which is just as

well since Sky delivering content is far more credible than Budweiser

ever could be. Alas, Sky miserably fails to do it justice.

The news element is comprehensive but the other sections are inadequate

and inaccurate. The profiles of the England squad still included those

who had been sent home. There’s an ’in-vision scoreflash’ but the latest

score was Belgium 0 England 0, four days after the event. Sections on

the rules (who cares?), grounds and chat were coming soon.

This is definitely England: you know they could do it but they insist on

leaving their stars back at home!

Client: Sky Sports

Brief: Extend Budweiser’s through-the-line marketing of the World Cup

module in an entertaining way

Created and designed by: BMP Interaction and Sky Online



The BBC’s World Cup Website is exactly what you’d expect: crammed with

the latest news and news-related features. They also wheel out their big

guns: Des, Al, Trev and Jimmy were all there.

I suspect that the BBC supremos would not countenance a Website that

didn’t deliver the sober news reporting it is famous for. Sadly, this

means the wildest thing on offer is a spot-the-ball competition that

offers a life-size cut-out of Jimmy Hill as a prize.

For its sheer thoroughness, this site is the tops. However, the depth of

data involved is clearly causing the BBC’s server some strain. Breaking

news would be well and truly broken by the time a story loads.

As World Cup sites go this is absolutely, definitively Germany: utterly

professional, militarily precise and without a shred of personality.

Client: BBC Online

Brief: Provide all the latest news, results and analysis from the BBC

World Cup team while remaining consistent with the channel’s World Cup

experience branding

Created by: BBC News Online



I still don’t see why the BBC needs two World Cup sites but, as siblings

go, this is the wild one. Not content with a little personality, this

site got up and stole its more illustrious brother’s too. So, for every

ounce of news the other site has, the Beeb site has gags and


The content is built around celebs, though Gary Lineker, Mark Lawrenson,

Jo Guest and Rene from ’Allo, ’Allo are an eclectic bunch. Uniquely

they’ve made an effort to talk to the people that count - there was a

fascinating chat session with the Scotland manager, Craig Brown.

Although the site contains all of the basic information you’d want,

you’re never under the misapprehension that this is what it’s about. The

review of the venues, for example, is done in ’Allo, ’Allo skit form and

the star footballers are ’leggy’ and ’sexy’ a la Jo Guest.

This site is definitely Jamaica: no concern to be the winner, just

determined to party to the last.

Client: beeb@the BBC

Brief: Create a World Cup site mixing football with background

information about teams, players and venues as well as up-to-the-minute

scores and analysis

Designed: In house Systems ICL



One principle I’m particularly precious about is that branded goods

shouldn’t have a Website unless they have an information-rich

proposition for the consumer. Snickers doesn’t - great confectionery

though it undoubtedly is. Instead, its site is built on the old ’if we

entertain them they will come’ theme.

The home page serves as a hub for small sites for each of the other

European nations as well as providing some ’central’ content: a news

feed from AFP which is comprehensive and the inappropriately named

’stadium of global football fun’. This contains a VIP lounge with

nothing important in it, some very badly written reviews of France ’98

stadia and a shop (why, oh why, would anyone spend pounds 7 on a

Snickers hat?).

The saving grace was in the UK hub where I found a quickfire trivia quiz

for World Cup tickets which was truly compulsive.

This is the Columbia of World Cup sites: some neat touches but

ultimately disappointing.

Client: Snickers

Brief: Not supplied

Created by: Pulfe (.com site) Foresight (UK site)


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