Fisher & Paykel are a large long-standing New Zealand whiteware company that recently launched a new marketing campaign to (I presume) increase awareness of their brand (amoung other things). Their promotion was called “Lost My Sock” and the basic idea is that you visit their special “Lost My Sock” webpage and they try to “Find” your missing sock.
The TV advertisements are reasonably well put together, a middle aged F&P scientist explains that they’ve put their best minds to finding your “Lost Sock” and they still can’t find it – but they’ll keep trying.
Naturally I visited their promotional website to see what all the fuss was about.
The result? A loading page. I’ve got a stopwatch running since I opened the site. The current time reads 9 minutes 43 seconds. I’ve been waiting almost 10 minutes for their marketing webpage to load and I’m on a 22Mb aDSL connection (seriously fast).
Whomever developed and managed the web-based portion of F&P’s “Lost My Sock” website seems to have fallen flat on their face. Surely disapointing for F&P executives given the hundreds of thousands they no doubt invested into the marketing campaign. No one wants to put the time and effort into producing a TV advertisement that directs the public to a webpage that doesn’t work. That’s akin to flushing money “down the toilet”.
So, I checked Twitter and mentioned the promotional page was still loading. Within a couple of minutes I had a reply from another Kiwi – it wasn’t just failing to load for me.
What can we learn?
Well for one – paying a lot of money doesn’t make you immune to poor quality work, or poor quality hosting. In this instance the server hosting the loading Flash file is simply too slow for the task at hand. I’m sure the Flash file is “very cool” – however being cool isn’t good enough if 99% of web traffic won’t ever wait for your page to load. The Flash file is 3.2MB in size which is large, but not huge. The problem is the speed of the transfer. Not enough thought has been given to the quality of the web host used.
This sits squarely in the category of “Webpage creation 101”. If your site takes more than a few moments to load, it’s worthless.
The F&P site has just loaded for me. It took 15 minutes and 8 seconds. Would you wait 15 minutes for a webpage to load?
I didn’t think so!
Update: they don’t seem to have uploaded their marketing material to YouTube either (this is a TV advertisement after all). Someone has, but it’s not F&P – Who’s running this campaign?