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MARKETER: Macromedia

WHERE TO FIND IT: www.shockrave.com

CRITIQUE: Since the birth of Shockwave, Web developers have flocked to the Mecca of Shocked sites: Macromedia's ShockZone (www.shockzone.com). The site is a test ground for the latest Macromedia products, shown off in games and innovative design.

So our interest was piqued last week when Macromedia unveiled its first ad-supported entertainment site for consumers. Called ShockRave, the site billed itself with a heady lineup of talent, including animated toons from Comedy Central's "South Park" and United Media's "Dilbert" and games from Columbia Tri-Star Interactive and SegaSoft Networks.

The site doesn't take for granted what's on anyone's hard drive. An opening page employs traffic lights to guide users through the plug-in preparation. Once inside, the site is divided into four categories: games, toons, music and talk. While the site is vibrant -- with blinking lights, loud colors and music -- it's easy to get lost because it links to so many different content areas.

Overall, the site deftly incorporates sponsors into the content. For instance, LifeSavers Co. gets clever billing with a title page featuring candy-theme games and content. As a forerunner of Web animation software, Macromedia is associated with the element of fun. Whether it can get that message beyond Web developers to the common consumer remains to be seen.

WHO CREATED IT: Macromedia, San Francisco.

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