CYBERCRITIQUE: Absence makes the heart grow more frustrated

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MARKETER: Interbrew FIND IT AT: Beer.com

You: at Belgo Nieuw-York on March 21, 10 p.m., with your dark hair and wearing a green shirt. Me: a humble Cyber Critique staffer.

We could have been something. I could tell the first moment I saw you there: all pixelated on my screen in glorious four frames-per-second streaming video.

We were meant for each other.

Of course you couldn't see me. I wasn't there. But it was fate, I'm telling you. I saw you on StellaCam, a novel promotion on Interbrew's Beer.com portal for the Belgian brewer's Stella Artois label.

StellaCam lets you see people live at stations in several bars worldwide and -- using a nice little e-commerce engine -- buy them a beer and chat with them.

So I did. I bought you that beer, although I got no confirmation that you actually got it. I had so much to say to you, Ms. GreenShirt. I wanted to find out what your sign is, what your dreams are and plan our future together.

But after shelling out $6.50 (which is nothing compared to the gifts I would shower you with if we were together), I could never find the interface for the chat time for which I had just paid.

Not that I'm bitter. Not that I feel robbed of the most important person in my life -- before I even got to know her name.

Not that I feel that some really bad information design makes me feel like I just paid for nothing.

So if you're out there by some miracle reading this, drop me a note. We can make beautiful music together. If not, we will always have Beer.com.

WHO CREATED IT: In-house with Mosaic, Toronto.

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