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5 beautifully immersive HTML5 websites

5 beautifully immersive HTML5 websites Devanshi Garg

HTML5 is the secret sauce of today's web experiences. Defined by enhanced interactivity, graphical immersion, and engaging experiences, HTML5 websites are a cut above the rest. Innovations in Javascript, CSS, and HTML have allowed developers to create graphical and feature-rich web experiences that blur the line between entertainment and digital marketing. The latest iteration of the language is even being touted as a primary driver behind apps built within automobiles. As a brand, it is your duty to reach customers and provide them with experiences (online and offline) that resonate with their attitudes, interests, and habits. With such a pervasive enhancement to web design and web development, HTML5 is the language of choice for brands hoping to connect deeply with their digitally native and tech-savvy audiences.

From engrossing CGI in films to beautifully designed mobile apps and games, the average viewer and customer is expecting a lot when it comes to media experiences. And the web is no different. In today's market, it is not enough to just provide information, some images, and details. Whereas a web presence was once a differentiator, now that everyone is on the web, immersive design, innovative features, and finely tuned functionality are what sets a brand apart from the rest of the crop. As the web continues to evolve, there are many areas outside the grasp of market analysts and industry oracles. One factor of the web, however, that will never change is the user's thirst for an artistic, engaging, and eye-catching experience. And at this moment, HTML5 is the go-to tool for providing such encounters.

To help you visualize the marketing potential, here are five breathtaking examples of HTML5 that connect on another level with customers, fans, members, and the web at large.

Adobe: The Expressive Web

Although it is an older site (circa 2011), TheExpressiveWeb.com serves as a great introduction to HTML5 and its potential for immersive digital experiences. The site's purpose is to explain, display, and contextualize the latest capabilities available through HTML5 and CSS3. If you're in need of an introduction to the language from a technical perspective, this is a great place to learn and be inspired.

Arcade Fire: Reflektor

When art and technology unite, the end result is nothing short of captivating. Part music video, part interactive media, and part HTML5 make the Arcade Fire's latest promotional website, JustAReflektor.com, a work of technological art. A visitor uses a mouse or can sync the website with a smartphone to control the visual perspective of the video. Previously, in 2010, the band collaborated with some talent from Google and acclaimed director Chris Milk to create TheWildernessDowntown.com, which was critically acclaimed for its fusion of next generation web development and marketing.

Brightly: Preflight Nerves

Following in the vein of Arcade Fire, Brightly released the Preflight Nerves website to market its upcoming album. In a truly innovative step, the band and the web design team incorporated video embedded in the background using the HTML5 canvas, with an added social element. As the lyrics for the background song progress, random tweets were highlighted that featured the lyrics to the song. Brightly's marketing team truly nailed it with the fusion of major technology trends and artistic vision.

Silk: Reunite the River

Silk, one of the leading soy milk brands worldwide, built an HTML5 site to publicize its philanthropic efforts. ReuniteTheRiver.com is devoted to raising awareness regarding the plight of the Colorado River (which has experienced significant reductions in water level in recent years). Along with informative graphical animations exploring American water consumption, the site is based around an illustrated version of the river. On the side of the banks, there are images and names of those who contributed to the charity. A user can scroll up or down to see every donation, as well as view a tracker that monitors the amount of water placed back into the river by the organization.


One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, "Gravity" boasts an equally technical and artfully crafted website. GravityMovie.WarnerBros.com shows some incredible design with dazzling images and video. Visitors can even initiate a 3D spacewalk experience through their browser using HTML5 and WebGL. Specifically when marketing entertainment, a marketing website should offer an augmented experience that extends beyond the movie, album, or art exhibition.

In each of these examples, the most striking feature is the absence of traditional web page structure and layout. With such immersive websites, there is no space nor use for bulky menu bars, clunky logos, and ad-ridden side panels. For these websites, the entire focus is on the experience. Full-screen use and innovative uses for the mouse, webcam, or other hardware are hallmarks of today's HTML5 development. At some points while interacting with such web pages, users forget they are even on the web. This should be your goal as a marketer.

Even things like press releases are most effective when they read and feel like real news. The same goes for a well-executed television commercial. In many instances, Super Bowl ads boast the quality and emotional content of big budget Hollywood films (specifically last years' moving ode to the American farmer from Dodge). With HTML5 as your paintbrush (and canvas), marketers can create emotionally vivid connections with customers through their PCs and mobile devices by incorporating innovative web development and web design.

Such technology is blending directly into the day-to-day operations of countless marketing departments. And social media is a critical component for many projects. Gartner analysts have forecasted an 11 percent increase in high-tech spending for marketing departments across the board. And marketing departments overall are "influencing almost half of all purchases" of technology and technology services. This tech trend is being legitimized by the top brands in the world, which not only embrace HTML5 but push the boundaries of what can be done creatively on the web. If you're in need of a better connection to customers and the market at large, HTML5 is a potential way to attract views and notoriety, as well as sales, for your brand.

Devanshi Garg is the chief operating officer of Icreon Tech.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Chief Operating Officer at Icreon Tech, a New York based IT consultancy and software solutions firm.  Responsible for overall operations, strategic partnerships and business development. Works closely with Boards and CEOs of New York based...

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