7 Experts Review 14 Killer Websites

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Ryan Buchanan, eROI

Brand Name: Konami
Agency/Site Creator: eROI

What is unusual and effective about this website?
The up-tempo music and playful stab at Death Jr. (the son of Grim Reaper) and his buddies scream "fun" throughout this delightfully morbid online adver-game. The user plays the role of Death Jr. himself, launching a suicidal hamster with C4 dynamite strapped to its back bouncing like a pinball off obstacles in the labyrinth of hell.

The beauty of this website adver-game is in its simplicity, humor and its dead-on hit with the target audience. Konami captured email addresses by asking users to post their scores to the leader-board, enticing them by awarding the top 15 scorers with a copy of the actual video game. Through these effective qualities, eROI helped Konami grow its entire email database 45 percent with this one adver-game.

How does the website fit into and complement the overall brand strategy for the company?
Konami is the third largest game developer in the world, yet its target audience typically resonates with discovering new and cool games where the game title itself is the sought-after brand, not the parent company. This site respected the stronger presence of the Death Jr. brand and created a personal connection to the Death Jr. game title.

As a brand, Konami merely endorsed the Death Jr. brand presence. After a grassroots online marketing effort of seeding blogs, reaching out to game influencers and to other game review sites, 16- to 25-year-old gamers from around the world pounded the site with heavy traffic immediately after the site launched.

How would you improve this website?
The website's adver-game could be viewed as too simplistic. There isn't a lot of motion until the hamster catapults off of the monster and begins bouncing through the underworld. Overall, I think this site accomplishes and exceeds its mission of playfulness and entertainment.

Additional resources
iMedia Creative Showcase: Generating Qualified Leads

Brand Name: Reebok
Agency/Site Creator: Fluid SF

What is unusual and effective about this website?
The RBKcustom website is so smooth. I absolutely love the interactivity and customizability you can have with every angle, nook and cranny of the shoe. Most importantly, it puts the user into the experience with a lifestyle pose of each individual shoe style. The user has the ability to customize the shoe within the lifestyle pose or in a close-up, 360-degree view of the shoe itself.

Lime green leathers on the top panel and orange suede eyestays were a bit much for me, so I toned it down with Jalepeno and Super Blue color complements. This site keeps me coming back to see how I can customize different shoe styles in thousands of different combinations.

How does the website fit into and complement the overall brand strategy for the company?
With this site, Reebok is making huge strides with its online efforts to reach out to urban hipsters. Reebok is clearly responding to its competitor Nike, who has produced exceptional Flash micro-sites for innovative product concepts like NikeID.

The RBKcustom site accomplishes the ever elusive brand goal of reaching "cool" status. It's simple, clean design and lifestyle images and poses will stand the test of time. Reebok also incorporates viral components like sharing your custom shoe design and style with a friend. Additionally, you can save your design for future customization or for later purchase by storing your custom designs in your online "closet." This site is successful in nearly every aspect.

How would you improve this website?
The navigation could be a bit more intuitive. As the web user, I had a difficult time figuring out what step to take next. Overall, I was blown away by the user experience throughout this site.

Ryan Buchanan is president and CEO of eROI. Read full bio.