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Interactive Annual 15:
experimental/virtual community

TheLoudspeakerSite

Launch Live Site

“I love the utter simplicity of the interaction on this site. As you listen to motivational speeches, show respect by hitting the ! key.” —Jay Zasa

“A message delivered in an unexpected manner. This site provides an immediate opportunity to join the community and impact the visitor experience; a mapping component brilliantly provides a visual of the online community.” —Edward J. Heinz Jr.


Overview: This site introduced the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s Respect! Campaign. The idea was simple, to end an epidemic of domestic violence by inspiring people to rally for respect; a world full of respect is ultimately a world with less violence. The site has two core features: a loudspeaker that amplifies speeches about respect in three settings (a suburban neighborhood, a school gymnasium and a downtown street corner) and the exclamation key that users are asked to hit if they agree with what a particular speaker is saying. The applause—like exclamation points appear on the site to create a virtual rally of respect.

  • • The site was a community rally and everyone on it an active participant. Everyone was listening to the same speech at the same time and able to “applaud” in real time with exclamations attributed to individual users.
  • • The navigation structure was purposefully minimal with most of the usual navigation items eliminated. Beyond hitting the exclamation key (a large visual prompt appears repeatedly during the speeches), users were asked only to donate or speak up about the campaign.
  • • Average user time on the site was about five minutes.

Comments by Scott Brown

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “A good idea has a long road ahead of it. Things get in the way, the clients’ objectives shift a bit, there are the inevitable hurdles of execution and people lose sight of the concept. For the Loudspeaker team, the big challenge was caring for the original idea—amplifying the voice of a great cause—as we built the site. It’s no small thing when a finished product is true to the original idea, even when that idea was a really good one.”

Did you learn anything new during the process? “One of the most creative aspects of the site is the way users hit their exclamation key to applaud for the speeches coming from the loudspeaker. The exclamation point is both a key branding element of the campaign, and the main way a user interacts with the site. What we learned is that interactivity and branding can intersect, and when they do, you don’t have to do much else.”

Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? “The site is about a complicated issue—domestic violence. Our clients and their partners are intensely close to the subject and intensely passionate about it. Every aspect of the site, from the speeches emanating from the speakers to the color of the sky, was agonized over. The idea of the loudspeaker was inspiring from day one, but using it to present such a difficult subject was challenging. At the end of the day, the passion of the people involved in making this site is evident in the work.”

Credits

Josh Okun, art director
Matt Bowne, writer
Scott Brown, creative director
Brian Brooker, executive creative director
Dustin Jacobsen/Mark Schuh, technical leads
Reza Heidari, developer
Brad Huhmann, programmer
Gary Yavicoli, Flash programmer
David Lindsey Wade, photographer
John Blank, Evolution Audio, sound design
Tyler Van Winkle, quality assurance
Jeff MacFarland, contributing artist
Barkley (Kansas City, MO), project design and development/ad agency
Family Violence Prevention Fund, client