Three-Ringed Site

Three-Ringed Site
December 13, 2004
Saturn's interactive campaign invites users to customize their own RELAY model.
Creative Notes
Firefox compatible.
Campaign Details
Client: Saturn
Creative Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Campaign Insight
The RELAY minisite was built to help support the launch of  the '05 RELAY, Saturn's newest addition to their line-up. The minisite was specifically created to help generate interest and leads prior to the launch of the vehicle and was live for 3 months. Saturn wanted to created a website that would be dynamic and viral, offering up information that would appeal to families, the RELAY's target audience. In order to do this Goodby, Silverstein and Partners (design) and North Kingdom (production) produced an interactive flash site where users could move through 5 scenes. Each scene contained vehicle information as well as "added value elements" such as a story book pdf or discount coupon for a children's magazine that would speak to the target audience. Users were also given the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a RELAY, by collecting a "hidden" letter in each of the 5 scenes. When users filled out the sweepstakes entry form they were asked to express interest in the RELAY by signing up to receive updates via mail or email. The humorous and engaging nature of the site, as well as the sweepstakes component made the project highly successful and it greatly exceeded Saturn's expectations in terms of leads generated.
--Saturn and Goodby,Silverstein and Partners.
Editor's Note
Creative Showcase is meant to be a teaching tool and an inspiration for our readers. We comment only on creative that we really love. Our panelists discuss what makes it great, but if they feel there were missed opportunities that would have made it better, we invite them to mention those. And finally, we seek out a wide range of opinions that reflect the marketplace for the panel, in order to provide constructive, useable feedback for agencies, clients and others involved in these creative pieces.
The Panel

This is one of the cooler, if not the coolest mini site, I have seen in a long time. Admittedly the last section wouldn’t load for me in three attempts over two days which is a major failing as the signup was in the last part, but that’s a hosting issue rather than a creative so never mind. The production values are top of the line and raise the bar and the budget for other promotional mini sites. The CGI dogs, cats and penguins look great. I couldn’t work out if the people were video or CGI. They looked very cool too. The kids singing was also very amusing, especially to soccer moms. In fact there may have been too much stuff in the site but if people want it let them have it. But enough hurrays! for the creative and production teams. Let’s talk about the bigger picture. Which is more than I was asked for in scope and word count.

I would guesstimate that the production costs for this went over the $1 mil mark. And so it should, this is unique content generated for online not a repurposed TV commercial. The production costs for a single 30 second commercial, especially cars, regularly go over the million dollar budget and the engagement time for this mini site is around two or three minutes a lot more than a 30 second spot. But how much traffic gets to this site and how was it driven there? I don’t know and that is where Saturn, the people who are signing off on the budgets will measure the success or failure of developing unique online content.

Full disclosure. I work for Eyeblaster a rich media technology company. I don’t know if they did this, but what would be cool is to take that content and put it in “rich media” banners that can deliver 1 MB + files and put the content around the web. Taking also this great content that wasn’t cheap and delivering it to people while they are on Yahoo! Motors and not using the standard sign post destination model that has been around since the start of interactive advertising  (put an 18K banner up that points to the mini site and get, if your lucky, 0.4% click through). Expandable ad spaces regularly average around 20% expansion rates and have interaction durations of around 26 sec, depending on content. If a user is interacting with a clients content does it matter if it’s on the clients website or on AOL or on TV? -- Doug Miller, Creative Director, Creative Services NY, Eyeblaster

Now this is refreshing.  Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ interactive micro site for the new Saturn RELAY is a fine example of how to market an automobile to consumers on the web.
In an age where many automotive brands are clamoring for attention and viral buzz from their online efforts, they often forget one main thing in their creative; find a happy medium between quality aesthetic presentation and informative interaction.  
The target market here is families.  I’m not a parent (yet), but I don’t imagine too many Moms and Dads out there with a couple of kids running around and finger painting on the wall with oil-based paint (I’m sorry Mom) really care to sit through some flash intro that might ultimately tell them nothing.  No.  They want the facts.  Period.
GS&P delivered.  Clean, simple and well designed and written, the RELAY site offers parents an interesting array of information.  It’s the small things that make this site work for families, the “added-value” info.  Things such as a printable story to read the kids while on the road and printable directions on how to build a playhouse (rest assured, all the wood you’ll need will all fit in your new Relay) were unique and interestingly appropriate.  Add to this the clever delivery of information through interaction (audio info via a piano, OnStar info via clicking on a dog and making the connection with “Moms best friend”) really tied everything back to the target.  Throw in the sweepstakes component and you have a recipe for success.
But on another level, for the pure automotive consumer, the interactive demos highlighting the features of the car itself were plentiful and well executed in each of the five “scenes.”  Isn’t this the stuff that really matters anyway?
… Yea but, will it sell cars?  Who knows but I for one left the site as an educated consumer rather than just simply an entertained boob.  Well done. --Mike Molnar, Accounts Managing Director, Glow Interactive


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