Interactive gallery reviewed by russell davies
You’ve a problem. You’re selling Sky TV in-store and you have to explain
your channel - ideally without relying on the courteous and
knowledgeable staff electrical retailers typically employ.
‘Sky sites’ - interactive units that let punters explore the Sky offer
on their own - are the solution. They’re a laudable demonstration of the
use of appropriate technology rather than the latest whizzy silicone
The genius of these machines is that they use Philips’ massively
unfashionable CDi technology. This unsexy system nevertheless delivers
tons of full-motion video, is simple to operate and reliable. None of
the 500 units out there have ever failed - could you expect that of 500
Client Gary Houfe, marketing projects manager, BSkyB
Brief Create a new channel to promote Sky to customers in-store
Created by The Design Clinic
Graphic designers Mark Whitehouse and Jon Wainwright, the Design Clinic
Systems design Pentactive
Mediatel has been quick to spot the opportunity of using the Net to
deliver information to the advertising industry. It’s also realised that
the more information suppliers it works with the tighter its grip on
this discrete but lucrative market will be.
It’s worked with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to build
the official IPA site and made a splendid job of it. It’s a model of
effective, low-key information delivery - simple menus, uncluttered
graphics and speedy delivery. There’s free stuff for the unwashed and
private areas for IPA members. The site is slightly reminiscent of a new
shopping centre - there are a lot of empty units - but it promises to
become less Tobacco Dock and more Lakeside Thurrock.
Client Lynne Robinson, research director, IPA
Brief Create a Website that will provide information to IPA members and
communicate with the general public
Created by Mediatel Web Consultancy
Designer Duncan Wilson
The Sporting Life
It’s clear why the Sporting Life has gone online. Cash. This
uncomplicated motivation gives it an admirable strategic focus.
The basic Website is a fairly straight reproduction of the paper -
nicely done but nothing special. However, the element that should see it
romping home in the online exploitation stakes is its comprehensive
racing database. Formsters can buy all the British and Irish form for
1995 and up to the start of the 1996 Flat Season for a little over
pounds 400 - and update the database daily via the Internet.
Now I’ve no idea whether there are enough punters out there to make this
profitable - but it has to be a good bet.
Clients Cornell Riklin, general manager, Mirror Group, David Annet,
general manager, the Sporting Life
Brief Investigate technical advancement for Mirror titles and brands
Created by Mirror New Media
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Websites. And I like the Virgin
Radio offer. It’s a splendid example of art. It’s just that sometimes
you have to wonder what exactly Websites are for. This, again, is a good
I’m sure Virgin would say it acts as a shop window to the industry, or
it’s a way of experimenting with consumer-demanded entertainment
retrieval, or even that it’s splendid for telling people about their
various frequencies. All this is true, but don’t you suspect Virgin got
a Website because all their mates have got one?
Maybe I’m being harsh - because Virgin has obviously put a lot of
thought into the pages. The design reflects the station’s character -
there are some really nice touches and lots of Real Audio. And you have
to admire its commitment to being pioneering. There’s just no real sense
of why it’s there.
Client David Campbell, chief executive, Virgin Radio
Brief Create the best Internet site for a radio station in the world
Created by Ajaz Ahmed and Hester Bloch, AKQA
Graphic designers Mike Redpath, James Hilton
Systems designers Dan Norris-Jones, Doug Anarino
The UnZip CD-Rom won the top prize at MILIA (the Multimedia equivalent
of Cannes), so it creeps into this review despite being quite an old
Unzip illustrates the ups and downs of CD-Rom publishing. Once you get
it running it’s a lovely piece - an imaginative interface, bags of funky
content and a lot of very pleasant young people’s-type music. You can
see why multimedia professionals would shower it with virtual laurels.
On the other hand, CD-Roms are about the most ‘consumer antagonistic’
products there are. They never work, they demand a lot from your PC and
they tend to be really boring. UnZip isn’t boring because of the effort
that’s gone into it - but creating an interesting CD-Rom is a challenge
most in the industry haven’t cracked.
Clients Ken Frakes at Zone UK, Colin Tough at IPC
Brief UnZip is an interactive style magazine available on CD-Rom
Created by Ken Frakes, Zone UK
Designers Raj Choudhury and Kirk Goble at Zone, and two other design
companies: Lush and Persuaders
Russell Davies is the interactive marketing director of Leo Burnett
Images captured by Automatic Television Tel: 0171-240 2073