Replica football shirts have become big business, and doesn’t sports kit
retailer allsports know it. The company’s new transactional web site
majors on the fact that you can buy your team’s shirt online, with 17
clubs and two international sides to choose from. ’Replica Shirts’ is also
the most prominent link on the home page, but the site also features news,
competitions, a store finder and a members’ area. Football fans looking to
buy kit online should be well pleased, with the exception of Coventry City
Web address: www.allsportsretail.co.uk
Developer: Walsh Simmons Interactive
International Office products supplier Acco has launched an online guide
to office management, incorporating brands such as Rexel Accodate and
The site doesn’t require plugins or the latest version of Netscape or
Internet Explorer. Product pages are divided into Business Machines,
Computer Products and Document Management.
Developer: Information Hyperlink
New Independent, new advertising and now a web site. Having started life
on AOL, the web site arrives hot on the heels of the newspaper’s
relaunch.And it’s also an IE 4.0 channel.
’The Independent Online’ is just that in the clearest terms possible. It
is all there, including tabloid supplements.
Not only is it the paper repurposed online, the online version actually
looks very much like the printed Independent with all its white space -
possibly more so than any other paper on the net.
Designed as a seven-day operation, the ’Independent on Sunday’ does not
really make an appearance. It all looks very good, even down to the
wallpaper, which features the familiar swooping eagle.
With a small amount of frames on the front page, it is broken down into
familiar sections of news, home and foreign, right the way through to
columnists and letters.
A click on home news, for instance, takes you through to one-paragraph
summaries, click on any single story and the whole story is revealed.
No matter how deep you are into the site, the home menu in the frames
window stays with you to help you navigate.
What is perhaps quite surprising is that there is very little advertising,
some pages featuring none at all.
It is understood that advertising will be increased in the site as
original content is developed.
Client: Newspaper Publishing
World of Interiors magazine already has a web presence, known as ’World of
Interiors Daily’, through the main UK site of publisher Conde Nast
(www.condenast.co.uk). The new site, ’The Design Studio’, is an entirely
different proposition from that news-based offering, because it gives
designers the chance to buy online. Seven suppliers are currently offering
their wares. Bronwen Buckeridge, Conde Nast’s On-Line interior design
manager, says the company is looking to get as many manufacturers involved
as possible. ”It’s all about volume,” she said. ”We have a diversity of
companies covering very different areas of the marketplace, making it
useful from a designer’s point of view.”
Users can browse through collections, make up their own swatches and order
swatchboards. Buckeridge claimed that although the site is transactional,
Conde Nast’s role is still essentially that of a media owner. ”The orders
go direct to the manufacturers,” she said. ”For us, it’s like creating a
hub for interior design on the web.”
The company will be promoting the new site through its print magazine and
through World of Interiors Daily. Buckeridge says that manufacturers are
keen to get involved because of the targeted nature of the title’s
readership. ”We have a brand with a position in the marketplace to achieve
what we want online. Manufacturers are very excited about it. A lot of
designers have web connections, but this is the first thing on the web for
Web address: www.thedesignstudio.com
Client: Conde Nast On-Line
What is it with financial services companies and rugby union? Following
Allied Dunbar’s launch of a rugby fans’ site to tie in with its rugby
sponsorship, Save & Prosper is sponsoring new offering scrum.com. The
site, created by EMAP Online, covers both British club rugby and the
annual Five Nations tournament.
It includes news, results, reports, player profiles and statistics, as
well as games and quizzes. Scrolling news headlines at the bottom of the
screen are a nice touch, as is a second-by-second countdown to the 1999
Client: EMAP Online
Developer: EMAP Online/ WEB/Millennium Marketing
Cheestrings Twister is a colourful and well-designed site full of games, a
comic strip and a screen saver, all featuring the fun Cheestrings animated
The web site is part of an integrated marketing roll-out to mark
Cheestring Twister’s launch and follows on from the original Cheestrings
web site, which claimed over 150,000 hits and was a UK Yell Award
Client: Golden Vale
Developer: Pilot Interactive Media
For several months, Lloyds Bank customers looking for a web site will have
found only a ’site under construction’ page. That site has now been
launched, but will come as a disappointment to consumers. It’s design and
functionality are simple and effective, but the current sections will
leave many cold. The ’enquiries’ section reveals that Lloyds will launch
its internet banking service next spring. However, a chance has been
missed to offer this service to customers on the opening page of the site.
Otherwise, a clear, informative site which has avoided the trap of being
too high-tech or graphics heavy.
Client: Lloyds Bank
Holyman Sally Ferries
Times have been tough for cross-channel ferry operators. Price competition
in the last few years has left holiday-makers and duty-free shoppers
laughing, and operators casting about for USPs to add value to their
trips. Holyman Sally Ferries has chosen to give extra value to clients
over the web, with a new site to help them plan their trip. A key feature
of the site is a route planner, which produces a rough map of a chosen
journey and a breakdown of roads to take - handy for the clueless
A simple fare calculator is available, as is a competition screen which
requires the usual data capture information to enter. There are plans to
add hotlinks to tourist authorities, hotel chains and other travel
companies to make it a ’one-stop journey planner’. For the traveller
tossing up two equally priced crossings, this site might just tip them
Client: Holyman Sally Ferries
Developer: Aspen Direct
Gourmets, gastronomes, epicures and lunch-obsessed Revolution reporters
are the obvious target market for ’FoodNet’, the new culinary section of
FutureNet. Undoubtedly the best idea on the site is Larder Challenge,
wherein hungry punters with scantily-populated kitchens are given recipes
which use only a tin of spaghetti hoops and a pair of pop tarts, or
whatever they happen to have lurking in their cupboards.
The problem with FoodNet is that a number of the sections don’t deliver
what they promise: click on ’Restaurant Guide - find the perfect place for
the best evening out’ and you don’t actually get a restaurant guide as you
would expect, merely the chance to add a restaurant’s details to a
restaurant guide; similarly, ’search through our definitive selection of
wines’ takes you, rather bizarrely, to a eulogy to Safeway’s.
Web address: www.futurenet.com/foodnet
Client: Future Publishing
BNFL has redesigned its web site as part of an overhaul of its entire
communications strategy. The new web site is themed to fit in with BNFL’s
current ad campaign, which you will be pleased to hear is tagged: ”Where
science never sleeps”.
The redesigned site, which is the first part of a two-year web development
programme, is designed to act as an information source for both business
and the public.
The home page opens with a series of coloured spinning globes, each
representing a centre designed for a specific audience and in keeping with
the ”never sleeps” theme. Click on the visitors centre, for instance, and
a small video of a train crashing at 100 mph can be viewed, while the
spinning navigation spheres move to the top of the page and continue to
Other centres on the site include a press centre for journalists and a
scientific centre for academics and scientific researchers.
Developer: Jamrach and Sons
Many web sites look to swell sales in a fairly direct way, either by
allowing online transactions, or by providing a phone number for a
relevant sales person.
Independent financial advisor John Charcol has nothing to sell in such a
direct sense, choosing instead to build its brand in such a way that it
will eventually coax web surfers into its offices. Its new site holds
information on a broad spectrum of financial matters, offering advice that
is reasonably detailed, but not quite detailed enough to allow you to make
a decision on a mortgage, for example. It also has useful add-ons such as
a mortgage calculator and a push-email service which will alert users to
any changes in information.
A rather complex data capture form is included in the site, but this is
for advising purposes more than for direct marketing.
Overall, the site gives John Charcol an aura of trustworthiness, and the
tone is decidedly ”no-obligation”, which is exactly what customers who are
likely to be nervous about a big decision will want.
Client: John Charcol
This article was first published on revolutionmagazine.com