Tuesday, 6 February 2007; 20:19
Few know it, but before Trek came along seven-times Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, rode a Litespeed titanium bicycle. In fact, he liked the company’s bikes so much that he paid for his own custom-built Litespeeds instead of riding the standard team issue bikes supplied for free by another manufacturer. For those few hardcore cyclists out there, let us have a look at this interview and what Litespeed is up to these days.
Home page: Litespeed
Approximately $10,000 and it’s yours!
Tuesday, 6 February 2007; 10:04
He answered former President Reagan’s call to tear down this wall. In doing so, he effectively ended a war which had occupied my entire lifetime–the Cold War. But, as a man of vision and possibly ahead of his time, Mikhail Gorbachev seems not to now occupy the best of positions in Russian history. That, with the passage of a few more years, may well change–and should. There have been few men as deserving of a memorable place in recent history as Mr. Gorbachev.
Until then, we can still support Mr. Gorbachev through his Gorbachev Foundation. Even better, on March 2, 2007, you can help celebrate a great man’s 76th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mr. Gorbachev. And, thank you.
Home page: MikhailGorbachev.org
Home page: Gorbachev Foundation
Tuesday, 6 February 2007; 8:55
Whoa! Talk about surprises. The Distillery was caught totally offguard by Mack Trucks. Pinball. Crossword puzzles. Yes, those and Bulldog Reality TV, too. Oh, and let us not overlook Mack Kids Corner. Not bad for a load of truckers, eh?
Home page: Mack Trucks
Tuesday, 6 February 2007; 8:50
Moments before being relegated to the Hall of Shame, these instructional videos were uncovered at Clairol Haircolor.
Home page: Clairol
Monday, 5 February 2007; 10:38
Unless you look a little closely, you may not recognize that fluFACTS.com is brought to you by Roche Laboratories.
(By the way, have you noticed all the penguins being used in advertisements these days? Clearly, the little fellas have become a very hot item on Madison Avenue as of late.)
Home page: fluFACTS.com
Monday, 5 February 2007; 10:06
Take a break from your humdrum day and office cubicle by visiting Chiloe Stories. And just what is Chiloe? It’s a beautiful little Chilean archipelago approximately 700 miles south of Santiago, Chile. Enjoy visiting a very different way of life than the one you likely now live. (Do you talk to your growing potatoes? Some of the people in Chiloe do.)
Home page: Chiloe Stories
Monday, 5 February 2007; 9:49
Club Penquin is not Second Life, but then it is for kids. (By the way, any other Second Lifers here?) Enjoy a charming place for your kids to visit, play, and learn how to use the internet. Membership and parental approval required.
Home page: Club Penquin
Monday, 5 February 2007; 9:34
It is not quite a car; it is not quite a SUV. It is the new Suzuki XL7, a hybrid automobile. (Couldn’t Suzuki find a voice-over that actually inspired one to listen?) In fact, it appears that Suzuki has looked to replace Subaru as the car for younger, active drivers.
However, this is also an automobile clearly designed to cross target markets ranging from the above-mentioned younger drivers to families that do not wish a full-sized SUV. The assessment that the XL7 is targeting younger drivers is reflected in Suzuki’s online game, Halfpipe Jams. (Don’t worry about taking the survey and registering for a code. Just use the code “HPJ” to gain entry.)
Home page: Suzuki XL7
Video tour: 2007 XL7
Game: Halfpipe Jams
Tuesday, 30 January 2007; 14:28
The Dodge Nitro may well be a very nice mid-sized SUV, but its online advertising is far from being as slick as glycerin. It doesn’t even come close to the excellence we saw with Audi. If the Audi Q7 site rates a nine or ten, then the most that can be awarded the Nitro site is a three.
What is the problem? Have American automobile manufacturers not only forgotten how to build cars, but also how to sell them? To The Distillery it certainly seems so. There is little wonder that American car builders now find themselves being displaced from the top by foreign-based car companies.
Dodge’s online multimedia advertising for the Nitro is sometimes irritating, invariably too loud, and frequently inconsistent. Also, far too much of it is the sort of advertising which is better suited for the television and not the internet. Dodge, in case you have somehow missed it, you are now using the internet to reach your target markets. Consumers are using it to make their purchase decisions. It is about time you fully recognized that and have your online content reflect a new awareness.
When will firms like Dodge understand that people will use the internet for information they cannot easily obtain elsewhere–or would like to obtain with a minimum of hassle and trouble? When will those firms recognize that at the stage of looking for online information, the consumer is in a state of high-involvement with the target product?
Consumers not only want to be shown static pictures and occasionally be entertained with sound, but instead are looking for an online experience. In addition, they want cold hard facts. The Distillery’s advice to Dodge: Flatter Audi and imitate its superb efforts.
Home page: Dodge Nitro
Friday, 26 January 2007; 11:42
When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried? Kleenex wants to know and also wants you to post your associated pictures or videos. (There’s nothing like consumer-generated content for one’s site. Just ask YouTube.) Not only is this Kleenex site interactive, but it is also participatory. (Yes, there is a difference.)
One of the things The Distillery especially likes is the way Kleenex absconded with the YouTube model and streams its own videos instead of placing them on YouTube. A number of other firms should follow that lead. The difference is like having a Hotmail e-mail address vs. an e-mail address with your own domain name. The latter is simply more professional and business-like.
The Distillery likes the Kleenex site. Not only will you find the above, but with a few additional clicks one runs into multimedia content for Kleenex’s new oval-shaped tissues. Questions: Might they be a product variation that consumers didn’t even know they wanted? Might they be a true nasal-technology breakthrough? Or, might Kleenex simply be making noise and blowing its nose by offering consumers a “new and improved” Kleenex? (Oops, make that Kleenex brand tissue. The Distillery wouldn’t want to dilute the Kleenex brand name.)
Home page: “Let it out” (Kleenex)
Videos: “Let it out”
Home page: Kleenex Oval Tissues
Thursday, 25 January 2007; 10:16
Overall, the entire Audi web site is excellent. However, The Distillery will today focus only on Audi’s Q7 Globe automobile. It comes with a V-12 engine and plenty of ground clearance. Supposedly, this is a car for anywhere on the planet. (Does anyone remember when Audi made decidedly boring cars?)
If the automobile is even half as impressive as the Audi Q7 Globe micro-site, it is quite the car. Its web site does almost everything extremely well. It is engaging, interactive, has a virtual human host, different bandwidths, sound on/off, and even offers a downloadable freebie via a video clip of the site’s theme song by Carla Vallet.
Yes, the people at Audi and its advertising agency worked very hard at making this one of the best examples of online advertising for a specific product that The Distillery has seen to date. Explore around and enjoy. Kudos galore to Audi and its Q7 Globe. (Oh, and while you are there, also have a look at the Audi Videocast. It includes footage from motor shows and vehicles other than the Q7.)
Home page: Audi
Home page (micro-site): Audi Q7 Globe