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Republik's redesigned site was launched with an e-blast challenging recipients to kill the old site with a choice of weapons. Once the site is destroyed, the new site appears.

The new site’s a metaphor for “pull” marketing that demonstrates the relationship between the studio’s work, its clients and their consumers. Current work, past projects, testimonials and company news, as with any self-promotional site, make up the the bulk of the content. What’s unique to this site are a set of tools on the intro page that gather a visitor’s name, birthdate, favorite color, favorite adjective and animal, and personalize the site.

The navigation interface includes a familiar dropdown list paired with a breadcrumb trail; links in the menu are hyperlinked to a more interactive visual navigation so dropdown browsing feels more direct than navigating via a disconnected menu. Dynamic bubbles, that represent consumers attracted to client work, change to match each brand’s colors and seamless transitions enforce the visual metaphor without losing it in page refreshes.

• Since the animation performance was destined to make or break the concept, rather than wait until everything was coded and working, shovemedia did up-front testing to find the best techniques for maximizing frame rate.

• Progressive enhancement serves up the best user experience a browser will support with just the Flash 9 plug-in; however, 100 percent of the content, including videos, is viewable without it—even on the iPhone.

• Deeplinking across the Flash/HTML divide was something shovemedia hadn't tackled at this scale and it turned out to be one of the tougher nuts to crack. A clever combination of Apache’s mod_rewrite and JavaScript allow deep links and bookmarks to arrive at the correct destination whether or not the user has Flash enabled.

• The news section of the site is populated from an RSS feed provided by rubberneckmedia, The Republik’s PR division.

• The e-mail blast caught on pretty quickly in the ad community; before they knew it, The Republik had people in China and the Ukraine blasting away at the old site and leaving comments about the new one.

• It took, one writer/creative director (The Republik), one art director (The Republik), one CMS developer (Thirdparty Labs) and one Flash developer (shovemedia) six months to create the site.

www.therepublik.net

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