11/21/2004

Flash and Marketing Effectiveness

Dyson Flash shotSeems like every time Flash is brought up in forums, we're treated to a barrage of reasons why Flash is bad (or, as some put it, "evil").

Frankly, I don't "get" this at all. Sure, we've all seen Flash abuse, just as we've seen poor design or poor anything else. Flash is simply a technology for delivering moving images, and one I find far preferable to having to ensure that users have the right plugins for a specific format. (Besides, I keep uninstalling mine. Except for Flash.)

But let's take the complaints in order:

  1. Flash is annoying. Sure — if we're talking about a slow splash screen bearing a "we're all that" spinning logo and oh-so-slow swooping text with vague market-hype messages.
  2. Flash takes too long to download. Depends, doesn't it? ;-)
  3. Flash is evil. Deserves no comment.
  4. People like text. Yes. The fact that they like text doesn't mean they like walls of it at all times. They like to see what you're talking about, too.
  5. People don't like all-Flash websites. Neither do I, generally, but what does that have to do with *any* use of Flash whatsoever?

Okay; well enough and points well taken. My argument is that judicious and tasteful use of Flash can get the job done in that picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words way. For instance, Dyson Vaccuums. Tell me that still pictures would convey the concept as well. Or a JavaScript slide show. The best you could do, other than Flash, is animated gifs … and then only with images that shouldn't really be jpgs. Here's more Dyson.

By the way, the infomercial/website combination can be superb for sales. Mr. Dyson got $600 out of us — for a purple vacuum cleaner! Had I watched the infomercial? Yes. Had I made my husband watch it? I think so. But it took the website — particularly the Flash displays illustrating the Dyson technology and why it's superior — to sell us to the point where we'd do something about it.

(No, we didn't do the Dyson website but, I'm very happy with our Dyson. It's far better — and better built — than I thought it would be. And I'd had high hopes.)

By the way, if you're really interested, I wrote a Dyson vaccuums review over at Designer Jones.

One Comment to "Flash and Marketing Effectiveness"

  1. Garrick says:

    Generally speaking, I don't enjoy visiting Flash sites. Flash isn't evil, per se, just as a gun evil either.

    It's people who don't know how to use is properly that give it a bad reputation, I think.

    Just because one 'can' make an image move, doesn't mean that they should. Gratuitous moving images doesn't really do it for me. If I want to watch a movie, I got to the movies.

    I think the Dyson site is a fine example of Flash, used properly. It 'is' necessary to show movement (or air) to properly demonstrate the product's functionality and it doesn't do so simply be cause it can – it does so because it 'must'.

    Good article. =)

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