A while back now, I had a bit of a pop at those ad agencies that
preached one thing - namely, that Websites should extend brands
laterally rather than be little more than electronic brochures - and did
another, that is, produced a Website for themselves that was little more
than an electronic brochure.
Now that an agency has actually taken the former, rather more
intelligent approach, I feel duty bound to shout its praises from the
top of the hills.
Well, from the middle of Campaign Interactive, anyway.
So it is that I come to praise Saatchi & Saatchi. As you may have read
in last week’s Campaign, the agency’s new site (which you can find at
www.saatchi-saatchi. com) is not about the agency itself. It is designed
to promote a competition Saatchis has just launched to find the most
innovative communications idea of the year. The competition and the
Website are not only complementary, they are strategically very clever
in that they are positioning Saatchis as a champion of creative
Of course, that positioning would be blown out of the water straight
away if the Website itself were not highly creative. Which makes it not
only a clever move, but also a brave one.
Fortunately, the technology behind the site is cutting edge and the
design is up to the standard you would expect from a top ad agency.
Crucially, however, it is not so cutting edge as to be exclusive.
They tell me it’s aimed at everyone - including my mum - which, to be
honest, is a little ambitious. But true to its word, Saatchis and the
production company it worked with, AMX Digital, have produced a second,
less sophisticated version of the site which can be used to the full
with the basic browser software and no plug-ins. Too many Web designers
get so hung up on being state-of-the-art, they forget that most people
out there don’t have the kit to appreciate their great achievements.
Saatchis deserves another slap on the back for understanding this.
The gauntlet has now been thrown down. Will any other agency dare to
pick it up?