The current shortage of teaching professionals is being tackled by the
Teacher Training Agency with an integrated recruitment campaign. Part of
the campaign is a new web site, created by Poppe Tyson Interactive, which
targets information to the users on how to enter the profession.
The site is certainly a worthy effort, and it’s probably far cheaper than,
say, paying teachers a decent wage.
Client: The Teacher Training Agency
Developer: Poppe Tyson Interactive
The Volkswagen Golf is apparently Europe’s best-selling car, and a new
version has just been released, hence the fanfare on the company’s web
site. Volkswagen focuses on its products on the site, with information on
equipment, accessories, safety, security, etc.
The launch of the new version of the site coincided with the London Motor
Show, and one key feature was a live web-cam sending pictures direct from
the show. The site offers users an interactive virtual view of the
interior of the new car, and features a web-enabled screensaver.
Developer: Bluewave/Carat Interactive
Both Camelot and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have launched
new lottery sites: one telling visitors if they have won, the other what
the cash of those who didn’t has been spent on.
The enhanced version of the National Lottery site ”aims to encourage even
greater public interest in the National Lottery and the ’Instant’
What is surprising is what Camelot, working with developer Red Kite New
Media and Saatchi & Saatchi, has put on the site. There is a lot - maybe
too much - to take in: a problem with many sites that seem to reject the
notion that small can be beautiful.
There are two random number generators. One is really quite quick, and the
second, the one with all the whizzy new technology, is rather slow.
There are reams of scratch card fact files and also games. But, at a
guess, these features will receive less than a cursory look.
Most visitors really will not want much more than to find out if they have
won, pick some numbers, and find out the most popular numbers.
The government site, developed by Sema Group, carries comprehensive
information on all grants awarded since the lottery was launched three
It allows searches by region and good causes, for example.
It also fills a useful gap, as previously information about the awards was
only available from the distributing bodies or the Department of
Client: Camelot, Department of Culture
Developer: Red Kite, Sema Group
Baileys updated Pleasure-Dome site is aimed at 25-to-34 year olds and
builds on the existing ’Mood Maze’ section. There’s a new conversational
’spin the bottle’ device, and even online ’truth or dare’. The site’s
quite nicely designed and has some interesting content, so it’s a shame
that the several-hundred-word disclaimer on the opening page is all on one
line, and that the European section of the site can’t even spell
Client: R&A Bailey & Co.
Developer: Lowe Digital/4i
Estate agents have always been obvious candidates to use new media. After
all, arranging to visit properties which may turn out to be completely
unsuitable is a pretty time-consuming business. It makes sense for agents
to let prospective buyers have a look at properties before they visit
them, and something like a CD-Rom or a web site is the ideal way to do
It’s probably not worth the expense for a block of one-bedroom flats in
Scunthorpe, but Berkeley Homes (Essex) has taken the plunge to promote
four luxury developments in central London.
The CDs include a virtual walk-through of the properties in question, plus
video footage of the surrounding area. There’s also a neat interior design
facility, which allows users to get their hands dirty and customise the
kitchen and bathroom colours and finishes.
Client: Berkeley Homes (Essex)
Developer: Nicholson Advertising
Penguin’s new Proust Online web site has been launched to mark the
commissioning of a new annotated translation of Marcel Proust’s A la
recherche du temps perdu - scheduled for publication in 2001.
The site is designed to act as the hub of an interactive community of
Proustians interested in how the edition is translated. With a bulletin
board at its heart, ideas and suggestions are being sought from around the
world ranging from points of translation to the question of what forms of
English are appropriate to a translation at the end of the twentieth
Phileas Fogg has tied its new site in with its sponsorship of the
Paramount Comedy Channel’s Britcom slot. Clips are divided into three
sections - the appallingly named hot cackles, cheesy chuckles and cool
gags - each linked to a tortilla chip flavour.
Unfortunately the site requires Internet Explorer users to have version
3.02 or higher in order to view the comedy clips. This means that an awful
lot of web users can’t actually see them, although considering the talent
on offer this may not be a bad thing.
Client: Phileas Fogg
Developer: Net.work://Marketing Communications
With wheel spins and steam blowing, Hornby Toys has brought two of the
best-known toy brands of the last 40 years onto the web with the unveiling
of the Hornby Railways and Scalextric sites.
Both sites have been designed and developed by design.net. And both are
pictures of effective, minimal design that are also incredibly easy to
Neither site is particularly interactive, designed to be more functional
than flashy. Aimed at all fans of the car and train model toys, the two
sites have been on the web since early November.
On the Scalextric site there is news, a UK store finder, new product news,
the history of Scalextric and selected links.
A click on the news link will take visitors through to ’Deep Throttle’
where details are available about the 1997 Renault Scalextric
Championships, which took place in mid-November. The UK store locator is
searchable both by city and postcode.
But what the site really needs is a bulletin board to allow fans to
Yes, there is a place to sign up for the Scalextric club, and a facility
to send email, but it is not quite the same as a forum area, where fans
However, this is the first stage in Hornby’s three-phased internet
marketing strategy. The second phase of the site will include an online
This will allow fans to view the recently released Audi A4 Quattro model
and add it to their shopping list and buy it. An interactive game, foreign
language translations and a wholesale accounts service are also in the
In its first foray onto the web, the RSPCA has launched a site that both
looks good and is highly informative.
Designed and developed by Online Magic, the site aims to raise awareness
of the charity’s international work and act as a campaigning resource in
the fight to combat animal cruelty and suffering.
With easy navigation, the site features nine sections in all. Among these
are up-to-the-minute RSPCA news, including information about campaigns,
animal rescues, and cruelty cases as well as a regular rehoming appeal
from an RSPCA animal centre.
Developer: Online Magic
A drug company producing an HIV web site has to play it pretty
F Hoffman-La Roche’s new site gets it just about right. There’s an
animated guide to the lifecycle of the virus, plus information about drug
treatments, although the company doesn’t force this down people’s
The site is perceived both as an information resource for those with HIV
and for their families, and as a tool for medical students.
Client: F Hoffman-La Roche
Developer: Hill and Knowlton NetComs
SAATCHI & SAATCHI
Considering how keen they are to tell their clients about the power of the
internet as a communications tool, advertising agencies’ web sites tend to
be a pretty dreary bunch. Here’s what we do, here’s our mission statement,
here’s a list of staff members, here’s a list of clients - you know the
sort of thing. Saatchi & Saatchi’s new site takes a refreshingly different
The site, developed in conjuction with new-media agency AMX Digital, takes
communication as its starting point. Instead of banging on about the
company’s track record, it’s structured as a competition: the Saatchi &
Saatchi Award for Innovation in Communication.
Keeping its own branding to a minimum may seem like a particularly
high-risk strategy for an agency, but the idea behind the site is to
attract both innovators in communication and key figures who are likely to
be interested in their inventions.
Inventors are invited to submit their ideas to the site, with the carrot
of a top prize of $100,000 on offer to the invention which, in the opinion
of the judges, makes the biggest contribution to improving
The celebrity judging panel includes Buzz Aldrin, Edward de Bono and
William Gibson, and there’s also a section which allows would-be
competition entrants to look at a showcase of the sort of inventions that
might have won the award in the past.
Client: Saatvhi & Saatchi
Developer: AMX Digital/Saatchi & Saatchi
Heffers, the Cambridge bookseller which has been around for 121 years, has
come to the web with a fully functional transaction site.
The site looks good, with clean design and easy navigation, and a search
facility covering two million titles. Heffers stores claim to hold more
than 300,000 books in stock which puts it in the position, unlike some
other online booksellers, of being able to despatch orders quickly.
Developer: Motive Systems.