Wednesday, 26 May 2010


There's a funny thing in the computer game world, where a trailer for a game looks completely different before and after you play the actual product. (Yes it's a post that vaguely links computer games to advertising - I've found my niche gosh darn it)

Before you play the game, a video of it looks amazing. Characters running around, performing outrageous actions - leaping, diving, shooting - you have complete control of a relentless killing machine.

The strange thing is, when you come back to a video after playing it (which admittedly rarely happens), you suddenly see those movements differently. He's no longer leaping, but some one's pressing 'X'. He's no longer diving, but initialising pre-set diving animation 1. Suddenly you see the strings and you're snapped right out of the moment.

Sometimes this can be how it feels with campaign sites. They can be wrapped in the most creative skin, but it still looks and feels like an average website. You still navigate and move around in the same way you would on a news site, or a site about lovely socks.

I think this is why the digital campaigns that I really remember fondly are those that weren't set up in the usual way. Cloverfield for instance - spreading bits of an introduction to the story across several sites and social media. People certainly got lost and couldn't find all the story, but I bet they felt more involved than they would have reading a full and thorough 'About' section.

Of course, this can't work for 99% of campaigns and usability is quite rightly regarded very highly. But sometimes, for certain brands, helping a user navigate is good, but helping them get lost is better.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Russian Standard

When you're trying to come up with new ideas for digital campaigns, it's easy to look for the latest technology, or the latest social network and try to be the first to take advantage of their sparkly new features.

So it's nice to have recently found two interesting twists on an old idea, from an old peice of technology. The first one looks at it from a new angle, while the second just makes it evil.