FIND IT AT: ZDNet
CRITIQUE: Moments of quiet meditation are hard to come by on the pulsating, content-burping Internet. While most folks don't lie awake at night sweating about hard disks, anyone who's had anything akin to a catastrophic drive failure knows it's no picnic putting the pieces back together. Seagate Technology wants to put everyone's mind at ease by selling them the best, of course Seagate, drives on the market.
The banner, using Macromedia's Flash technology to support Seagate's effort, offers tranquility and harmony for anyone who wants to spend some time with its virtual wind chimes. They're fun to play and the hypnotic groove actually is somewhat relaxing. That is until they disappear and a big stinkin' ad comes along saying you need a Barracuda drive.
Mental images of predatory fish are not what we call relaxing.
So this ad comes close to hitting all the marks, but in the end winds up zapping the very Zen moment it created at the beginning. Many ads, competing for time in a crowded landscape, are intrusive by their nature. But this ad invites you in with an approach that recalls whispers of burbling brooks and white sandy beaches. It takes you to the oasis, but instead of speaking "sponsored by Seagate" in subtle fine print, it bashes you over the head with its message. That's less forgivable than if the banner had been brash from the start.
WHO CREATED IT: Lot21 Interactive Advertising, San Francisco