Barton F. Graf 9000’s site design offers a complete guide to learning Boston as a second language.
DISH Network launched “Talk Boston” to promote a special offer of a free iPad for new subscribers. Created by New York ad agency Barton F. Graf 9000, the site offers a complete guide to learning Boston as a second language (“It ain't HAD”). The navigation follows the path of a student learning how to speak with a Boston accent. The first step is a series of classroom videos introducing pronunciation and vocabulary words, like “kahkeez” (car keys/khakis) and “shaks” (sharks, shocks, or shacks). Lessons are followed by an interactive quiz, and there is even a Twitter translator that transcribes users’ tweets into Boston-speak and posts them on “Twiddah.”
“It allowed us to create unique experiences that could not exist on other platforms,” says creative technology director Jonathan Vingiano. The design team used the familiar structure of a long scrolling, single page site but created a completely flat aesthetic—there are only two colors and two typefaces used in the entire site. This allows the animated sections of the site to stand out, whereas their subtlety might have been lost in a more complicated visual environment. 1.2 million visitors have come to the site, which has had 771,000 video views and 57,000 game plays and, notes Vingiano, “My mom loved it.”