Most agency websites are a sea of similarities — a mosaic of client projects that are little more than a worthy stream of self-serve. But some try to be different. Here are five of them that stand out for their websites, either with great hacks, great visuals, great graphics, smooth navigation, or all of the above.
Last week, the attention channel from KBS ditched its site entirely and replaced it with a new Instagram handle. It works just like a regular website and is a virtual 24-image catalog that takes users through the agency’s work, leadership, offices, and even excerpts from the agency’s life. A five-member team created Instagram in a span of two weeks, and stitched 16 different handles together.
“Social platforms like Instagram are the new digital front doors,” said Tom Buontempo, Head of Attention Program at KBS. “Hacking in this way really allows us to use it as a marketing and new business development tool.”
Zulu Alpha kilo
This Toronto-based agency produced the viral “Say No to Spec” video last year criticizing agencies for working for free during presentations. It’s no surprise, then, that her new website is a parody on the “similarity” of every other agency’s website, mocking agency websites, with fake client business, awards, and founder bios. It also has a “Customer Services Clock” that displays the time of the customer’s last complaint. The only giveaway that the site isn’t real is the attorney’s note and the “contact” section, where the agency admits the prank.
Fuse’s website isn’t the most technologically advanced, but it stands out because it is based on the idea that while some see chaos as an obstacle, Fuse sees it as an opportunity. The point is brought home with metaphorical clips played in a loop on the homepage, from a surfer riding a huge wave to an erupting volcano.
“Instead of having a really great website, we wanted one that shows what we stand for,” said Dennis Frankczak, CEO of Fuse Ideas.
Innocean launched its new streamlined website last November, which is built around three pillars: storytelling, technology, and culture. While most other agency websites highlight their clients’ stories and offer a glimpse into the agency’s culture, it’s Innocean’s “Technology” section that really sets it apart. This section highlights two new tech products from the Huntington Beach-based agency, including Brandscene, a corporate social tool to keep the social and digital conversations on the pulse of their brand, and Sharecast, a live streaming tool that provides a peek into guest-talk sessions that take place within agency. The website also has a great camera widget that users can click on to get a live view of the Pacific Ocean outside the Innocean offices.
“Our previous website didn’t really express who we are and where we are, and how great it is to work and take a look at our culture,” said John Fargo, Innocean’s Vice President of User Experience. “But our location adds a lot to our culture and the camera shows that.”
Wexley Girls School
The Wexley School For Girls website is as bright and whimsical as the agency name. The home page has a mini golf course with colorful moving balls representing the agency’s various clients and projects. The design is a nod to a real mini golf course inside the agency’s pits in Seattle.
“We try to convey how unconventional we are,” said Rob Scherzer, creative digital strategist at the agency. “We wanted the website to reflect that we do things differently.”