Reviewed by Nigel Sheldon

Reviewed by Nigel Sheldon


Who would think a site from a washing machine manufacturer would work so


Most of us only think about washing machines about once every seven

years, when we need a new one. But Zanussi has overcome this by making

the site interesting in other ways. The result is a gem.

Yes, there is useful product information - who can remember the size of

that space in the kitchen when standing in the shop? - and a postcode

search for the nearest dealer.

But the central piece is the ‘Design and Innovation Gallery’, where

‘exhibitors’ offer a game of pinball, a look at animation and music from

REM. You can award ratings to each exhibitor and, at the end of the

year, the highest-rated receives pounds 1,000.

The striking design reinforces the sense that this site is not just

about product.

Client Nik Halsey, manager of advertising and promotions, Zanussi

Brief Enhance brand positioning through excellence and design innovation

Created and designed by DNA Communications


Capital FM

This is excellent. It is rich in content, invites interaction and is

constantly refreshed.

Everything from the radio station is here: news updates, hot tracks,

sport, flat shares and a live ‘on air’ feed.

The sound may be like listening to a car radio from the pavement, but at

least you can have it on in the background as you browse.

The friendly, chatty approach of Capital’s DJs is reflected in the

showbiz gossip and tips about London. It even lets you search for other

sites while keeping you within its enveloping frame. You can contribute

via a chat line, classifieds and competitions..

Client Douglas McCallum, head of new media at Capital

Brief Extend Capital’s core values into the future’s fastest growing


Created and designed by In-house team at Capital in co-operation with



Midland Bank

Tim Henman is making British tennis more interesting, but he’s not doing

the same for the Midland Bank’s ‘Who’s on the sofa?’ area of this site.

While it emphasises Midland’s sponsorship involvement, it contains

little that’s new. Disappointingly, there is no mention of Tim’s recent

exploits in the Czech Open.

But the clean design of this relaunched site ties in neatly with

Midland’s other media communications and makes good use of frames. The

content is extensive but text-laden.

Few financial sites offer customers what they really want. Most are more

like branch brochures than online banking. If this one could do more for

me (the Service Selector facility only goes part of the way), I might

want to use it again.

Client Belinda Furneaux-Harris, head of advertising, Midland

Brief Accessible site for those who want information about the bank

Created and designed by James Sawyer, corporate design manager


Reader’s Digest

The Reader’s Digest holds a unique place in publishing and the online

version successfully reflects this.

Features and favourites such as ‘It pays you to enrich your word power’

are here, along with the usual diet of competitions and prizes.

Navigation is simple and the home page features a moving ticker tape of


Everything on this site is in keeping with the Reader’s Digest ethos. If

you want to order a copy of the Cook’s Scrapbook or a Neil Diamond

album, you can do it here and be invoiced for the goods some time


I’m not sure how many people browsing out there are Neil Diamond fans

and this site may not be terribly exciting, but, like the publication

itself, I’m sure it will have loyal users.

Client Chris Bradley, MIS manager, Reader’s Digest

Brief Provide an added-value service to existing Reader’s Digest buyers

and attract new readers

Created and designed by Webmedia



If there is one site that should be a treasure trove of fun, it’s this

one. Promisingly, the home page is bright and attractive.

My four-year-old son (a veteran of the colouring-in page on the

Kellogg’s site) liked the revolving figure for going forwards or

backwards through the site.

But faced with a lot of text and very little interactivity, he was soon


Even older children who could handle the text more easily would probably

find this site rather unexciting and static.

It’s not clear who this site is aimed at Hamley’s may be trying to

engage kids, but with lines such as ‘a range of collector perambulators

to complement your collector dolls’, I’m not so sure.

While Hamley’s makes it clear this site is just a beginning, now is the

time to get it right, with Christmas only weeks away.

Client Eva Saltman, marketing director

Brief Test market to see if people would be keen to buy toys online

Created and designed by Andres Varela, Darren Peters at Associated

Electronics Communications


Nigel Sheldon is head of Thompson Interactive


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