While most advertisers are happy to keep spitting out brochure after mail-out after jingle to sell stuff, Metropolis have jumped on the wild bucking bronco that is interactive multi-media global marketing and gone the distance. Three switched-on dudes armed with a vision and about 1,000 years combined experience in media, marketing and computers run this baby, and run it well. The web-site is slick, informative and stacked with examples of their work, along with a complete run-down of their facilities and capabilities. Internet services, digital publishing, information kiosks… you name it, they do it.
Verdict: Could these guys actually be from the planet Krypton? Super, man!
The Shorter Group
This forward-thinking, Perth-based group of companies has created an exemplary site which seems to capture the spirit of their work. Claiming that marketing is ready for a big overhaul, Shorter has geared up and gone techno. The site has style, movement and colour, simplicity and interaction, giving a full overview of the group. The overall feel is friendly (staff members posing jovially with thematic geometric shapes), and potential clients would really get the feeling that The Shorter Group can deliver. They did win 1995 W.A. agency of the year.
Verdict: Love that colour and movement! Look out world, Western Australia has arrived!
TMP Neville Jeffress Advertising
One of the giants of advertising in Australia. No doubt about it, this is THE company. They built up their strength with recruitment advertising in the big newspapers, and now employ 260 staff in about a dozen offices here and in NZ and the UK. With that much punch, they are unstoppable, and this web site is demonstrative of this fact. It’s big and boastful… while the company logo stares at you from below the whole time. The style, though is rather dry, like those recruitment ads, but with the amount of money they turn over, they are obviously serving their clients well. Mostly large institutions and government departments etc.. also, they are the creators of the Monster Board internet job search.
Verdict: Bookmark the Monster Board, marvel at the magnitude of this company, and wonder….. how big is Neville’s swimming pool?
The Australian Banner Bank
Using the same principal as the American-based Internet Link exchange, this local version offers Australian-only link exchanges under the “you display my ad, I’ll display yours” arrangement. The difference is subtle but clear, ABB is just, you know….more Australian…. It’s like, “G’day, it’s my shout, how about some free publicity” The conditions are well stated, all the information is given clearly and concisely and there really is nothing stopping you from joining, unless you are philosophically opposed to web advertising for some reason, in which case, you’d better go off line, coz it’s here to stay. You may as well do it fair and free, like ABB.
Verdict: More hits, more hits!!! Gimme more hits!!!!!
You’ve seen the billboards, now look at the site. Basically this monumental effort is the sum total of the classifieds of all the NewsLtd. newspapers across Australia put up on one site on the net for browsing & searching. On the day of review, there were 82,000-odd ads listed, which kind of puts browsing out of the question! The site is colourful, easy to use and has good search facility to weed out all the ads you don’t really need to wade through. For sale, also, is advertising space on the site for banners to link to your company’s site. Looking at the “advertise with us” page, they’ve gone to a lot of effort here to make the deal look attractive. Claiming believably huge hit rates to the site, this is one site you might think of actually spending money to be seen on.
Verdict: This is how to make a great site…. throw squillions of dollars at it! It works.
Wordsworth and Company
“We're in the business of doing one thing - Making Products and Services Irresistible.” So reads the slogan of this successful and focussed Californian ad agency. The site is simple, with attractive links and key words to navigate. Clearly stated are the company’s goals, achievements, ideals and arsenal in the fight for the consumer dollar. Far more clinical than the Australian agencies, but the marketing know-how shines through like a pair of blu-blocker sunglasses, on a thighmaster user, on a bright Santa Monica summer’s day.
Verdict: Marketing manifesto from the mecca of mass media mind manipulation.
Hailing from Armidale, NSW, Cowleys is one of those “everything” sites. They are attempting to get listings, directories and resources for Australian goods and services, information and travel. There are detailed search facilities and large listings, even a free classified ads section. They want advertisers to buy space throughout the site to support it. Looks like a pretty good effort all round. One wonders, though, about such sites whether they can really get the level of participation required to create a truly universal resource, even whether we really need to have so much available from one site. The answer could be “yes” on both counts, but what a mammoth undertaking! So far, so good, Cowleys are certainly on the way.
Verdict: It’s Australian, it’s ambitious. Give ‘em a go, and bookmark it! Tell them about yourself while you’re there.
The Production Book Online
This is an essential bookmark for anyone in advertising and media industries. Boasting over 18,000 “home pages” of information, (mostly just contact info), PB Online gives you every resource you need to get your production running. From pyrotechnic specialists to baby wranglers, (for the new snugglers commercial, where an army of babies nuke a tub full of cloth nappies) This site is very good! Comprehensive and well laid out, with a search function, the folks at sc@media (pb’s creators) are well behind the eight-ball with this internet thing - though it would be nice to see more clearly which contacts have their own web sites - go see what else they are up to. You can also advertise on this site as well. Full details are given.
Verdict: You must, by hook or by crook, bookmark Production Book!! Look, this book cooks!!!
Chase Online Marketing Strategies
Welcome to the world of Larry Chase. The one man dynamo responsible, if you believe him, in initiating just about every web marketing idea that exists today. He was the first to get the word “Travel” in a search engine!! Actually, the guy sounds pretty knowledgeable, and a web advertising specialist. His company has a respectable list of clients, and it seems he has some strategies to make web marketing work, though the site itself leaves a bit to be desired in the bells and whistles division.
Verdict: The web is just a pond, and your web site is a lily pad…Larry will get the frogs hopping your way!?? Surreal? It might just work….
McMahon and Tate
This is a truly unbelievable company who’s concepts seem to be conjured up magically and just at the last minute before the client walks out the door. Ideas man Darren Stevens seems to be the driving force here, but there seems to be a lot of credit taken by director Larry Tate. They promise effective solutions, using unorthodox methods, often involving sleight of hand and illusion, but they get the job done in half an hour every time.
Verdict: Bordering on the supernatural.
One Planet Creative
This Brisbane based ad agency has an environmental outlook with a global vision of marketing ideas and products. Scepticism subsides as you check their clients like NatureLoo and Clean Air Campaign. They are committed to great ideas and products that can benefit the earth and its inhabitants and are willing to use any medium to market them. They are still very much in the real world, but their vision in putting up this fairly comprehensive site, and being open to the internet more than some other companies, is promising.
Verdict: Ah… at last… ethical, moral, environmental marketing.
“McNabb Advertising is an Australian advertising agency dedicated to providing creative solutions to business problems with no expensive aftershocks.” - So say’s the mission statement. No expensive web design either!! This site is purely information about what McNabb do, rather than a showcase for their work. An online press-release, basically, without even so much as a link or graphic. What they do sounds pretty impressive, so obviously their reputation precedes this site.
Verdict: They are a top ad agency, but McNabb have yet to nab the web sector.
You, Me & Him
This is a fledgling Melbourne agency, but they have good connections and networking and look like they are on the road to success. Their web page is a little basic, but follow it to the sites of RAM Productions and New Media Corporation. Modern net-wise companies working together to get your products marketed.
Verdict: “You Me and Him”, could make “Them” buy “It”!
A company attempting to get a total selling arena in one place for every product and company across Australia. Still working on getting participants, but the idea is good, and the site is well done. There is a large frame with a clickable imagemap for all the categories. Some big names have signed up, so it could take off.
Verdict: It’s a big web out there, but there still might be some room left for MarketSpace
Trading Post On Line
Whoever set this site up must be pretty proud of themselves. This is very comprehensive, easy to navigate, stylish, and user-friendly. Become a member and you get full access to all the ads across the country and can even place an ad direct from the site to appear in print. It’s still a little slow with so much cgi-bin action of browsing and searching, but it sure is fun! The reviewer just bought a TV.
Verdict: They’ve put a lot of effort into this, bookmark it and use it!
Specialising in the pharmaceutical and health care marketing arena, CPSNet is spinning some money on the net giving ad agencies in the field a gathering place to promote themselves. This is an insight into a multi-billion dollar industry that depends on people living unhealthy lifestyles. Well, until we all get fit, CPSNet is here to stay, so they have put a huge site together with news, info, resources, product news and samples of ad agencies campaigns.
Verdict: Visit this site twice a day, if pain persists, see your doctor.
If you surf the net, you know web-counter. A company dedicated to the addiction we all have to getting as many hits as possible to our home pages. Check the top 1,000 listing for an idea of what’s working. If all else fails, advertise with digits.com and get the hits you crave. They have a good run down on the facts and figures of net advertising along with their rates, conditions, etc..
Verdict: Mortgage your house and watch that web counter click!
The Internet Link Exchange
This is a free advertising deal where you display banner ads of members on your site, in exchange for getting your own banner ad on other member sites. It’s fully sponsored, so is totally free. You also get given statistics on your ad, like how many times the link was followed etc (average ratio 1:31). The whole thing sounds good, so what’s the catch? None really…. every time your page is hit, LE uploads a banner of their choosing to your page. For that you collect ½ a point. One point earns you an ad on someone else’s site. The more hits you get, the more times your ad appears on other sites. Each ad doubles as a link to Link Exchange, so it’s a win, win, win situation!!!!…. if you like those banner ads, that is.
Verdict: Viva Las Vegas!!!
Graphics II Inc.
True to their name, this full-service ad agency is rather big on graphics. The site is full of majorly happening icons and pictures throughout. These people are into art. The business is even running from a fully restored Victorian house. What’s more, the site was done on a Macintosh hehehe! They have a small ensemble staff, but claim multi-million dollar turnover. A quick glance at the small gallery, the types of businesses served and range of services provided, it’s easy to see the formula for success is fully in place here.
Verdict: Warning, viewing this site could be hazardous to your jealousy!
From the city better known for it’s Buddhist temples and brothels comes a web-design company taking on the world, and getting there…….. almost. Upon entering AsiaWeb, you get a spinning globe gif animation, but the frame with Asia in it isn’t there! Now, the technicians at AsiaWeb seem to be up to date on the latest web technology, and the copywriters seem to know what to say to sell this service, but artistically and stylistically, something ain’t quite right. It really doesn’t stand up too well against international competition. Let’s not be too harsh, though, they are trying hard and beginning to get customers in Thailand. Check out the Thai internet directory, digital music, and digital magazine. There is value here.
Verdict: You’ll still want to visit Thailand mainly for the temples and brothels.
Cartoons for Publications and Advertising by Randy Glasbergen
Randy is a prolific and talented cartoonist, with an extensive list of credits in advertising and newsprint. He also has several books out including how-to books on drawing. Now he is offering his talents world-wide for hire on any project you care to mention. Judging from his numerous samples he willingly offers, the man knows he can deliver what’s required for the specific job. Some very funny stuff here, it’s easy to see how he has succeeded with his smooth, simple lines, cute characters and clever wit. Affordable, too, so he says…..email the dude, check it out!
Verdict: Plenty of laughs here, quality work, and a nice guy, too. How could you not hire him for your next project?