AOL Moviefone relaunches with Charlex-designed site

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AOL moviefone, an online and telephone movie-listing guide and ticketing service, relaunched its site the week of May 22 at

New York-based commercials production and design house Charlex spearheaded the redesign, which includes Mr. Moviefone's famous telephone greeting, "Hello! And welcome to AOL Moviefone!"

Alex Weil, founder and president of Charlex, said his goal in redesigning the site was to carry over AOL Moviefone's brand and character to the Web.

"We realized the brand had really outgrown its Web site and that wasn't being recognized," said Mr. Weil, whose production company also crafted the U.S. Mint's gold dollar TV commercials featuring a talking George Washington. "I think this brand is one of the most fabulous brands in the world," he said of Moviefone, which America Online bought for $388 million in February 1999.


"Part of the challenge here was to capture the life of the brand and bring it on to the Web. I'm an advertising guy, a visual communications guy. . . . I am kind of familiar with giving spin to things. So I thought, 'Let's get out of the Web mentality. Let's think about this as a Web site for everyday people."

The site is easier to read and features clearer, more appealing graphics and features, "the language of Mr. Moviefone we already know," Mr. Weil said.

AOL Moviefone also dropped its service charge for tickets purchased online, in a move to drive people to its ad-supported Web site. It continues to charge between a $1 and $1.50 per ticket for phone orders.

This is Charlex's first Web-based project, and Mr. Weil intends to do more in the interactive space. "Soon, the Web will be able to accommodate multilayered graphics," he said. "[Charlex's] experience doing that with TV qualifies us for doing this in the new Web world. I want to be a sharpshooter out there."

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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