CYBERCRITIQUE

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CyberCritique is Interactive Media & Marketing's monthly review of the latest online marketing efforts. Want more reviews? Point your browser to http://www.adage.com/IMM/critique.html. Send comments or suggestions to Debra Aho Williamson at imm@adage.com.

Marketer: Warner Bros.' "Batman Forever"

Address: http://www.batmanforever.com

What's there: A gallery of images from the movie; places to e-mail the movie's characters (Batman and Robin, etc., not the stars); downloadable film and soundtrack clips, posters and pictures; trivia quiz; book excerpt; links to information about DC Comics and Warner Bros. Stores.

Who created it: In-house, with Grey Entertainment, Los Angeles

Comments: One of the best movie sites we've seen. Very intuitive, colorful and fun, it's much more than a compendium of production notes and cast bios. Each week there's a different set of images in the gallery section, and the site is updated regularly, as promised. A few quibbles: Batman's butler, Alfred, is prominently touted as the designated "help" icon but he wasn't very visible. And we sent e-mail to Batman, but alas, got a form letter response.

Marketer: American Airlines

Address: http://www.amrcorp.com

What's there: 48 categories of information about American Airlines, AMR Corp. and Eaasy Sabre, ranging from ticket purchasing info to details on AA travel packages to airport gate information.

Who created it: In-house.

Comments: This site, which American says is the first phase of a three-phase implementation, suffers from brochure-itis. There's enough material to keep you busy reading for hours, but not enough interactivity. Those wanting to order tickets are directed to reservations offices and ticket centers. Though the site promotes Eaasy Sabre, it's not available on the Web (American does include helpful pointers to the Web sites of the online services that offer the reservations system).

Marketer: Amtrak

Address: http://www.amtrak.com

What's there: Exhaustive, text-heavy information about Amtrak trains, routes, vacation packages, reservation policies, stations.

Who created it: In-house

Comments: Once you get beyond the home page, which features a few scanned-in images of Amtrak trains and the company logo, it's text all the way. And boy, is there a lot of it. You're in luck if you want the complete Amtrak history. You'll have to look elsewhere to make a reservation or check fares. A promotion offering discount travel for Internet users is buried at the bottom of the page. Most Web surfers probably won't ever make it this far.

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