“Tomorrow this agency will launch a giant floating turd held together with duct tape. we will call it ‘WEB SITE.'” – anonymous Avenue A/Razorfish
This wryly expressed sentiment is in regards to Avenue A/ Razorfish’s new work for the Sheraton Hotels titled the SheratonWave, which runs alongside the upcoming Final Four menâ€™s college basketball tournament. The site, brings together college sports fans and iconic images of sporting events. Know you get the Wave part right? I thought that for a second, every Sheraton was going to be offering one of the wave pools at their hotels, but alas… it’s actually about the first-ever online version of the wave and features hundreds of linked video clips of college basketball fans across the U.S. doing it. Users are encouraged to upload their own video or use a unique webcam tool to film a wave directly onto the site.
Poop! Poop! I smell it! Here’s the thing, the wave is like 500 clips of people standing at different distances and angles from the camera, so it’s not like some weird Michael Jackson Black and White thing. It’s just people in their living rooms edited together at random. It’s strange, but no, no – not exciting at all. Poop! You can also sort by college, say Texas or Winthrop. Fart!
Okay and what does this have to do with Sheraton? The hotel chain is an official partner of the NCAA, but so what and what else? Are they trying to say they are offering discounted rates for basketball fans who are going to see the final NCAA games? Hmm…. don’t see that in the copy. Oh wait! Duh. If I start booking a room using the box on the right, THEN they tell me there are special offers. Right. That makes no sense considering consumer behavior. Tell me BEFORE. Poop!
Are they trying to align themselves with the excitement of the tournament? Possibly, but this is pretty half assed. Are the trying to grab onto this unruly beast called social media? Dingdingdingdingding! We have a winner ladies and gentlemen. The social media aspects are what – user-generated (done and done and done to death) and embedding? Poop! If you want it to spread across colleges (those in and out of the Final Four), you gotta do make it easier to unfurl and take a chance on pairing it with other social media technologies. Gotta wonder how many billable hours Avenue A spent at these campus getting people to do the wave so there would be content on the site when it launched. Dying to know.
Avenue A makes good websites. They do. However, this campaign is missing something for me and yes, I like basketball.