DX Award :: Redism


Redism demonstrates that direct marketing is not necessarily best marketing. Bass Beers Worldwide, the famed English brewery, hired Underwired, one of England’s leading creative agencies, to dream up and deploy a promotional website that would serve to reach beyond the clear limitations of alcoholic beverage advertising on the Net. The result is an artistic blast that rides the new wave of tie-in marketing strategies in online media.


ARCHIVED DESIGN AWARD PAGE :: 2002 DX AWARDS

This page is republished for historical and archival reasons, highlighting the history of online design and the work of some of the many talented individuals who were instrumental in the early days of online media.


We are honored to select Redism as this week’s recipient of the IPPA’s Award for Design Excellence.


Redism demonstrates that direct marketing is not necessarily best marketing. Bass Beers Worldwide, the famed English brewery, hired Underwired, one of England’s leading creative agencies, to dream up and deploy a promotional website that would serve to reach beyond the clear limitations of alcoholic beverage advertising on the Net. The result is an artistic blast that rides the new wave of tie-in marketing strategies in online media.

Redism is conceptually similar in many ways to the groundbreaking approach of BMWFilms.com, except that with Bass Beer’s website, you don’t need broadband and the patience of a Tibetan Monk to enjoy the full experience. In effect, it is the immediacy of the “art now, for art’s sake” approach that makes this a worthwhile destination and bookmark. And naturally, a little bit of promotional sponsorship by Bass is thrown in.

Once you get over the first shock that this is actually a brewery sponsoring the arts, you will see that it makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective. The demographics are really there — after all, Bass Ale and Bass Beer are both rather upscale drinks, often the choice of the professional, upwardly mobile 20s and 30s crowd. If ever there was an online demographic match, there it is.

The design of Redism is both interesting and modern. The navigational interface involves a rotating set of balls, reminiscent of chemistry and molecule charts. The visual message is clear — the site ties together in a certain way. Click on the left, the right molecule updates to the content within those links. Yet more importantly, the navigational interface is left in motion — as such it attracts the eye and pulls you into clicking more and more links.

Such a navigational strategy is derivative of some experimental design work oringally done for the Smithsonian Institute’s American History website about three years ago. However, in that application, the interface strategy left many viewers confused because of its depth and complexity. At Redism, however, the interface has been simplified and reduced to its essential elements — and finally, it not only works and but works well.

Redism is still in process. The Flash design component is the first of the series to go live, which will take the site through the end of December 2002. In this regard, Bass has done it right — unlike so many other online ventures, they’ve programmed and planned their site from the start to include monthly and weekly updates. Surprisingly, most other similar sites launch and promise their audience that they will add more content in the future, then never quite seem to get back to things.

Each artwork or Flash feature is directly linked to a “discuss the art” forum. Additionally, viewers are invited to vote whether they liked the piece. These votes, in turn, are used to rank the features on an ongoing basis. This encourages involvement with the online community and builds a relationship with the site. As well, it sorts out the best quality artwork.

Beyond subtly reminding you that they are sponsoring the site, Bass Beers has not taken the approach of “hitting you over the head” with their marketing pitch. This is both welcome and highly effective. In the end, you’ll come away with a feeling that more corporations ought to be doing this sort of thing and if they did (if they were all like Bass, you might consider), then the world would be a better place.

If you do take the time to click on the link entitled, “Brewery”, you’ll be brought to the Bass Beer advertising site, but this is optional. Interestingly enough, however, those who do take the time to go for the visit will see some really interesting stuff — don’t miss the beer coaster doodles, a sort of art of the masses gallery. Why not go down to the pub, grab an ale, doodle a bit and send it in?

To our friends at Underwired in London, our virtual hat is off to you all. Good show!



Key Staff
Jason Holland, Creative Director
Felix Velarde, Planner