INTERACTIVE: Interactive gallery reviewed by Alex Letts



The Durex site’s content enriches the brand personality and image

attributes of Durex in a way that’s brave, clever and hugely good fun.

Well laid out it may be, but it’s the content that beguiles. I’ve often

wondered how marketing people at Durex survive the snigger factor - now

I know. They have a sense of humour and intelligence that imbues the

site with warmth and a sense of, dare I say it, proportion. My favourite

stuff was in the agony aunt-style letters page about the guy who ran out

of condoms after ‘four screws’ with his ‘hot babe’ and wanted to know if

it was OK to have washed out his johnnies and dried them on the radiator

for re-use later that night. How can I summarise it? Sensitive, loads of

great feeling and good to use.

Client Catherine Taylor, David Bentley, London International Group


Brief Use new media to globalise the Durex brand while promoting safe


Designers James Hilton, Mike Redpath, Andy Sut- cliffe, Doug Annarino,

Daniel Norris-Jones, Julian Sweeting, Hester Bloch, Benjamin Parr, Ajaz

Ahmed, AKQA


Zenith Media

And so to media johnnies. I went to this site reluctantly (anticipating

boring statistical stereotypes) and came away nearly amazed. Sure, some

of the content wasn’t exactly my cup of lager, but it certainly wasn’t

my little pony either. I liked the site because instead of adding even

more content to the already overloaded Web, it chose to become a front-

end, an index if you like, for some of the essential reading on the Web

for marketers. It’s a reasonably comprehensive, well-structured media

almanac with a solid, but unspectacular design, and the menu, as you’d

expect from an agency, gets a Michelin star. Not the grey dull site I

had dreaded, but a great reference place for anyone in the marketing

industry and a pointer to the future in terms of how agencies can add

value to their audiences through their own sites. My only concern was

that I came away with the URL of dead-useful site, yet somehow I had

formed no abiding image of Zenith itself.

Client Frank Harrison, worldwide director for media and information

systems, Zenith

Brief Create a gateway to the Internet for advertisers which provides

direct links to all major advertising and media-owner sites on the Net,

along with further links to other sites of general interest to


Designer Frank Harrison, Zenith


Private Eye

Lurking behind this unlikely address is none other than Private Eye. One

wonders whether the URL is designed with a delicious sense of irony, to

spotlight the nonsensical addressing standard on the Web, but I somehow

think it’s just a neat twist of fate. The site itself is a promo for the

paper version of the venerable organ with a few tasty little online

thingies that I don’t think appear in the newsstand issue. The Gnome

page was too good a gag to miss, and the Hot on the Net section deftly

lampoons the entire online genre. Given that Netballs (aka Colemanballs)

is reproduced with the bonus of the submissions that missed the cut, I

was surprised by the lack of advertisers plastered across the site -

maybe they’re on their way. Overall, this is a nicely restrained effort

but you would think the world’s greatest exposers of pretension and cant

could be a more creative in a medium asking to be satirised.

@@@ item missing


Call me out of touch but until recently I thought ‘manga’ was a generic

term for Japanese cartoons. Warning to all parents, it’s not. Manga is

also a company (British? Japanese? US? I know not) producing cool

cartoon action videos for the 15-plus age group. (My mistake was not

seeing the censor’s ‘15’ with the result that my five-year-old called me

a ‘motherfucker’ for sending him to bed mid vid.) The films are

attracting cult status and although the Web site is a long way behind

the cartoons in style and creativity, this one is sure to be heavily

hit. The frustration though (as ever), was not the limitation of the

site (although it’s quite basic) but of my own V.34 technology which

made the thought of downloading the latest clips too much to bear. Phone

bills in households with youngsters aged ten-plus will feel the pain.

The dictionary of terms will help the most archaic of Dads to get the

drift of the vernacular and overall the site is well organised if a

little bit, er, low key.

Client Amanda Tolworthy, sales and marketing manager, Manga


Brief Design and formulate an innovative site that represents the

cutting edge of Manga

Designers Good Technology Ltd



Imagine it’s 6pm on a Friday in June. Should you risk the Cromwell Road

and M4 to wake up to the dawn chorus in Devon or should you stay in

town? You flick to www. and view the traffic at well-known

bottlenecks and you check the weekend weather...far fetched? Not so.

Kpix TV and radio station is doing it already with cameras feeding shots

of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe (a ski resort) direct to its Web site.

It has up-to-the-minute traffic information, live video of news and a

range of services that make you see what a smart broadcaster could do

for its virtual neighbourhood. It sparks a range of possibilities that I

hope our local media owners won’t completely ignore - someone as smart

as Capital could make a killing from sponsorship potential alone.

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Alex Letts is the chairman of SMI Group Ltd