- 1 1. What is Your Food Personality? – Weight Watchers
- 2 2. My Creative Type – Adobe
- 3 3. RS Components – 33 Ways 3d Printing is Changing the World
- 4 4. Questions in the Sky – Air France
- 5 5. Crabtree & Evelyn – No Tricks, Just Treats
- 6 6. Red Bull – Karl Meltzer
- 7 7. Dishoom – Attracting the Perfect Employee
- 8 8. Chanel – Inside Chanel
- 9 9. Waterwise – Every Last Drop
1. What is Your Food Personality? – Weight Watchers
They say it begins at home and right there is where we start our examples off.
Often, people overlook some simple factors that affect their approach to food. The objective of Weight Watchers with this microsite was to help people better understand their eating habits. With this in mind, SMACK was able to create a microsite that was fun, engaging, and offered great tips. This sort of microsite is especially good for targeting users in the research stage of the customer journey.
Losing weight can be a daunting task. In order to make researching it less intimidating, SMACK went with the choice of quirky text fonts and bright, attention grabbing colours to give off an informal vibe that says, “This is going to be fun.”
A clear call to action is important for an effective microsite. The idea is to make navigation as easy as possible. SMACK achieved this by giving prominence to the call to action and by using a colour palette that has been proven by research to be effective in catching the eye of the user.
The beautifully presented questions and answers and how easy it is to navigate through them is perhaps the best thing about this microsite.
If providing information to the user beyond what is on your main website while also raising brand awareness is an aim of yours (and it really should be for any brand), then this is a great example of a microsite to consider using as a blueprint.
2. My Creative Type – Adobe
If I could go on a date with a microsite, I’d take Adobe’s Creative Types microsite. It knows me so well! This beautifully designed microsite is a great example of the world microsites can open up.
By asking some simple but interesting/abstract questions and matching your answers to creative traits, it offers the user a breakdown of the type of creative they are and advice on what they can do to further flourish.
Clearly, the objective here is to showcase Adobe’s own creativity (which is done well via animation between each question and answer page) while raising brand awareness. It’s also a way for Adobe to connect with audiences while showing how much they know them, which in turn expresses why they are the brand that can best cater to their creative needs.
Yours truly tried the microsite out and was genuinely surprised at how accurate it was about my creative as well as personality type. It even pointed out some areas I could improve in creativity-wise, areas I myself have recognised need to be worked on (the “Your greatest challenge is learning to balance dreaming with disciplined action” part hit home especially).
This is a testament to the amount of work Adobe put into the microsite. Want to confirm your brand as an authority in its sector therefore raising and maintaining top-of-mind brand awareness all while blowing the user’s mind? You can’t go wrong with a brand positioning microsite like this one.
Check it out here:
3. RS Components – 33 Ways 3d Printing is Changing the World
Humble-bragging can come across as a disingenuous way of not tooting one’s own horn, but sometimes it’s all you can do when you’ve created a piece of work that you are proud of, that is truly informative to a target audience, and helped a client achieve its digital marketing objectives.
RS Components wanted to highlight the successes of 3D printing, specifically in relation to medical, science, and transport, the three areas the brand’s main target audiences were interested in (a conclusion SMACK came to after thorough research). SMACK agency worked on an infographic microsite that showcased 33 ways 3D printing is affecting us, from the human body all the way to space.
As you scroll, the infographic comes to life. You can scroll or simply click on the white circles on the far right to go through each area of focus (medical, science, transport) and its levels. You then click on the white dots around the graphic to be presented with bits of information on what is to come in the world of 3D printing in relation to that area. The scroll function is intuitive and works smoothly as you glide the cursor.
Transition from each area of focus to the next is fluid, the graphics moving, changing sizes, fading, popping up. This gives it an animation quality that is engaging.
At the core of this microsite is the objective of providing information on an area yet to be fully understood by the masses. By having a link to well established brands with authority under the bit of information in every box, RS Components is communicating (1) It is a brand that has more than its own self-interest at heart (2) it has used information from trusted sources for its research. This provides a platform for the user to delve deeper into the world of 3D printing without having to do lots of searching. This is infographic design at its best (if we do say so ourselves).
4. Questions in the Sky – Air France
Wow, where to start. Air France really brought their A game to the table with this microsite. It’s beautifully (get used to seeing this word in this article) designed, has multimedia elements, and is just great all-around fun.
Specifically targeted at children, the microsite aims to answer the questions they often ask pertaining to air travel. The rise of online gamification – the integration of gaming mechanics to non-traditional gaming platforms – was a factor mentioned at the start of this article and that feature is the main one Air France has capitalised on here. Using the direction keys, the user navigates a plane towards clouds with graphics relating to a specific area of interest.
Once the plane goes into the cloud, a child’s voice asks a question and a video opens up with a professional answering it. An example of a question is “Can I become a pilot if I wear glasses?”, for which you will get a video with an answer from this interestingly-mustached pilot.
Each video lasts about 20 seconds, enough to answer the question clearly, not so long that the children will lose interest (if the attention span of adults has dipped, think of the children!).
With a microsite loaded with different media formats – audio, animation, gameplay, video – the fact all of this works seamlessly without a glitch is worthy of praise. Because of who the microsite is aimed at, engagement and interactivity is crucial. The microsite really delivers on this front.
Viewed cynically, one could say brand positioning in the minds of the young target audience and potential future customers was the obvious objective for creating this microsite. But that would be harsh, especially on any brand that prides itself on great customer service.
The microsite also works as an experience extension for adult customers who have children, a way of expanding what Air France is about beyond simply offering aeroplane rides. As an adult, I found navigating the virtual aeroplane a delight. This microsite is an activity that can bring family together, just like what air travel is often used for.
The microsite is perfect for use as part of CRM outreach to current customers via email marketing and social media, or for getting new eyes on the brand.
Check it out here:
5. Crabtree & Evelyn – No Tricks, Just Treats
One of the great benefits of using a microsite is how a brand can use it as a platform for a specific campaign to achieve a specific goal. By placing content on a separate site away from its main website, a brand can give it concentrated visibility that making it engaging instead of it competing with everything else on the main site or being restricted by the main website’s functionality.
When beauty brand Crabtree & Evelyn approached SMACK with the marketing objective of using Halloween as an opportunity to increase engagement and build its mailing list to boost footfall into physical stores, our creative digital agency took advantage of the aforementioned benefits to create a very effective, targeted microsite.
This is a great example of a microsite that has employed an aesthetic that differs from that of the brand’s main website. Going this route has an immediate impact on customers who have become familiar (and you know what they say about familiarity) with a brand’s usual, well, branding. By incorporating a slogan and colour scheme that hint at Halloween, SMACK was able to differentiate the microsite while taking advantage of seasonal recognition.
For comparison, here’s Crabtree & Evelyn’s main website’s homepage:
By interacting with the microsite, customers were able to claim a free gift with a purchase at a physical store. It was vital to make the microsite engaging but very simple to navigate so that users could get to their free gift code easily, something they could achieve in three basic steps, each including bold, unmissable call to action.
If there was ever a microsite example that proved how effective and versatile a marketing tool it is, this would be it. Online retail has gone through the roof in the last decade, with people preferring to do their shopping online.
Anything that can bring customers to a brand’s physical store where there’s a higher likelihood of impulse purchases and cross-selling is a golden goose to retail brands. This is what made this microsite so effective. Giving customers an easy way to get a free gift offered an incentive for them to visit the store, therefore increasing footfall notably.
In the process of claiming their free gift, another of the brand’s objectives – building its mailing list – was achieved via the email capture stage. With this information, Crabtree & Evelyn can build customer profiles and create targeted CRM campaigns. These two vital elements were achieved via a simple but effective microsite.
Check it out here:
6. Red Bull – Karl Meltzer
Red Bull is a prime example of a brand that understands its position in the mind of the audience. The company’s market positioning efforts has even taken it to outer space. RedBull is very much self-aware of the sector it operates in and how it is not only in the business of selling an energy beverage, it is also in the business of sports, adventure, and human activity experience.
The brand has created quite a few microsites, but the microsite they built for ultrarunner Karl Meltzer really showcases this understanding. This interactive microsite allows the user to recount the runner and his crew’s experience as they set a new speed record for an Appalachian Trail thru-hike.
The microsite presents this achievement as a story. At the top, the user can go through notes made by those actually involved from day 1 to the last day, 46. This is accompanied by some lovely images of Karl doing his thing through beautiful settings, as well as pictures that paint a picture of the camaraderie of the crew and a sort of behind the scenes look at what was involved with this achievement.
Lower down the microsite, the user can really get to know who Karl Meltzer is and get more information about the trial by clicking the little white arrows. The information is delivered in digestible chunks, a microcosm of the microsite as a whole. This microsite example shows you don’t have to have the biggest budget in the world to deliver great, targeted content. Even big-name brands with deep pockets go the simple route sometimes because they understand the message is the most important thing.
One of the benefits of a microsites is that you can target a specific keyword that you want to rank for in search engines. A microsite is a great avenue to use for this because the search engine robots can view it as a one-stop-shop for all the information concerning the keyword searched by the user.
Because the microsite has its own domain and is not competing with other pages as it might do were the content on a larger, main website, it has a better chance of performing well for a given keyword. With this microsite, Red Bull has been able to achieve page 1 rankings on Google for users searching for Karl Meltzer. This is thanks to the amalgamation of great SEO and a focused microsite.
If your aim is to create content that showcases how your brand is more than just a corporation that only cares about selling its products or you want to rank better in search engines for one of your keywords, a microsite like that of Karl Meltzer is a great example of how it’s done.
Check it out here:
7. Dishoom – Attracting the Perfect Employee
So far, all the microsite examples we’ve covered focus on targeting customers/consumers in one shape or form. But microsites are not limited to this purpose, there are other creative ways to use the platform to achieve a given objective.
When award-winning Indian restaurant chain Dishoom was inundated with job applications and was struggling to find the right candidates for specific roles, they approached SMACK digital agency to find a solution for their recruitment problem. We were able to come up with the innovative idea of using a microsite to weed out unsuitable candidates and move the qualified ones to the next stage.
One of the main issues when it comes to recruitment is applicants not having a full understanding of what the role entails and what a business is all about. The first stage of the microsite addresses this by featuring a portal that gives them a clear understanding of what Dishoom is about as a business. For this microsite, SMACK decided to go with only minor variations to the client’s main website branding in order to have a seamless transition from potential candidates visiting the main website, then going on to the microsite to apply for roles.
The next section of the recruitment microsite allows the user to view job listings by location. Then, by clicking the call to action button, the listing expands to give details of the specific role.
From here, it is a simple case of clicking ‘Apply’ to go on to the next page. These microsite pages are presented without clutter and with easy navigation via unmissable call to action buttons.
When creating a microsite, it is important to understand the core value of your brand so that when it is visited by a user, there’s no confusion with messaging. What made this microsite so successful was that SMACK took into consideration Dishoom’s want for candidates who really get the business’s values and have a passion for what it does.
This led to us delving deep into what makes Dishoom tick as a brand including its history, food, and culture so that when it came to developing the microsite and how it should function and what content to give priority, it aligned with Dishoom’s values while also presenting the ‘soul’ of the business to potential candidates. The latter made it simple for candidates to decide whether this was the right employer for them or not, therefore weeding out those who may just apply on a whim or casually. Go here to see more details about this microsite project.
Check it out here:
8. Chanel – Inside Chanel
How does a world-renowned brand communicate to a new generation of its importance to the industry while also detailing its history in an engaging, modern way? It should do what fashion house Chanel did: put the message on a hub in the form of a microsite using a dynamic format such as video. This is an example of a microsite that requires heavy investment but will lead to both tangible and intangible gains in the long run.
The microsite is home to short videos that relay the history and impact of the fashion brand using very interesting and memorable visuals. The videos are narrated crisply and offer genuinely fascinating facts, information, and stories. Old footage is overlaid with modern graphics, animation is employed, still images are brought to life by swirls of water colour paint, subtitles highlight points being made by the narrator, riveting music serves as scores to offer visual storytelling that gives a dynamic experience.
The videos on the microsite celebrate the history of the brand, never hesitating to name drop cultural icons such as Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, and Marilyn Monroe. The latter has a whole video dedicated to her and the relationship she had with the brand’s perfume, Chanel No5. In it are exclusive pictures and never before heard audio of the actress speaking on the brand.
Chanel’s objective with this microsite campaign is brand positioning through the means of accessibility to the audience, using its history and success stories to give a real personality to the fashion house.
If you decide to build a microsite that mainly contains one type of medium (video, text, audio, etc.), it is vital that you make the best use of that medium, so the user is engaged. Chanel does this excellently through the editing and visual style of the videos. I found myself admiring the effort it must have taken to put all of it together. This in turn made me want to watch each video more than once, gave me a newfound respect for the brand to the point where I am now considering Chanel No5 as my go-to gift for all the wonderful women in my life this Christmas. Never underestimate the power of leaving your audience in awe. A microsite executed well can do exactly that.
Check it out here:
9. Waterwise – Every Last Drop
Water shortage and environmental awareness such as climate change have been big news in recent times. People are actively seeking information on what they can do to make a difference in their own lives. What better way to provide this information than a beautifully put together microsite? Every Last Drop is an example of a well-executed microsite that uses what I call a ‘One page, One message’ delivery.
The microsite is delivered in an interactive infographic style. It starts your avatar off in bed. As you scroll down, the avatar and setting shifts and fade from one scene to another, the first being bedroom to bathroom. This scroll and move function gives it an animated element that is engaging.
Each setting has a water consumption statistic, delivered in a clear, concise way. This water usage information is not limited to the obvious. It also covers water usage/wastage in the making of clothes, food, and its delivery to our homes via pipes.
Via an embedded video, a clear call to action on the last part of the microsite gives the option to learn more about water consumption and what the user can do reduce waste. There are also links to other websites where more information is available.
This microsite works in a similar way to the one SMACK built for RS Components in example 3. And similar to that microsite, the objective of delivering information in an engaging, unique way is its standout feature. With such a well put together microsite delivering non-sales driven information, Waterwise is staking its claim as a brand that cares about the environment and society at large.
Another feature worth mentioning is the gamification element of the microsite. There’s one particular section where the user is ‘driving’ the avatar down a road. Little elements like this can be the difference between a memorable experience of a microsite and one that is out of the mind once the user exits.