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Responses by RAXO.

Background: A new foundation born from creative studio RAXO, Ad+d Culture challenges the players in the ad world—both big and small—to represent the voices they’re advertising to by allocating a portion of their marketing budgets to minority-owned agencies. Not only are we calling out the ad industry as a whole, we’re also calling upon the companies hiring them to step up, review internal selection processes and take action. Amplifying the voices of minority-owned agencies, Ad+d Culture proves, with interactive data, that working with a diverse team delivers better results and campaigns that resonate across all audiences while also ensuring that avoidable mistakes are not being made.

Design core: It was our goal to create an immersive, experiential site that showed the important of diversity. To do so, we opted to go with a somber color palette to convey the importance of our message. Additionally, we used interactive data to tell the story of the ad industry's failure for minority creatives and entrepreneurs. With animated infographics, video and compelling storytelling, the site takes visitors through how minority creatives in advertising are at a disadvantage and what they can do to provide a solution.

Favorite details: Overall, we’re proud of the story that the site tells and the emphasis on taking action. A splashy campaign landing page is great for garnering attention, but we wanted to give the user something very clear to walk away with.

Challenges: For us, it was crucial to establish a balance between microinteractions and animations that engaged and entertained the visitor, but also maintained a clear user experience. We didn’t want the animations to distract from the message itself.

New skills: We improved a lot on paying attention to details, and despite wanting to deliver the best experience possible as soon as possible, we took our time to review every step of the development process, making sure we were aligned in the right direction. This gave us a better understanding of what we wanted to achieve, and in the end, it enabled us to get the best possible version of the project.

Navigation structure: On the microsite, we wanted people to go through the story first and foremost. Therefore, the navigation was designed to be fairly simple, letting people skip to the action items or move through to the editorial site if they’ve already been through the journey before.

On the editorial portion of the site, the navigation is simple and straightforward for the user experience, guiding visitors through the content seamlessly. In all, we wanted the smooth nature of the microsite to be maintained throughout the editorial portion as well.

Special navigation features: Most of the hardcore experience—in regards to the navigation—can be appreciated on the landing page animation. We really wanted the user to be faced with the truth about the ad industry while interacting with the data that backs up our mission.

Technology: We’re using a combination of technologies to power the front-end user experience. The languages and frameworks used enable us to render HTML5-coded sites in JavaScript rather than having the browser render the page in HTML, which loads much slower than JavaScript. We achieve this through a combination of the React-based JavaScript framework Next.js for front-end rendering on the microsite, Gatsby.js for the blog and Lottie Web to support the animations.

Relative to back-end technologies, it’s our standard practice to deploy Cloudflare as our authoritative DNS provider, leveraging a multitude of its services which provide enhanced site performance via its AnyCast DNS, edge caching, autominification JavaScript and provides added security protections against DDoS attacks, as well as more sophisticated attack vectors via our configuration of its web application firewall. We’ve deployed the site on a private cloud instance that automatically scales resources as needed, ensuring the site can handle whatever is thrown at it. We’re using Wordpress’s Rest API for content management, making the site easy to manage while not bogging down performance.


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