I never do this.
But instead of embedding a video and talking about it, I really need you to go and see it in action.
So, go to the new Ashley House website.
Oh and do it on a desktop/laptop - not your mobile - for the best effect.
Go on! Off you go. Don't worry about me, I'll be eating this hot cross bun.
Come back when you're ready.
If I wasn't clear enough... the above embed video is NOT the full video.
You need to watch it on their website. Jeez.
WHY IT'S GREAT
So here's the thing.
Ashley House are a printing company.
They really care about the craft of printing.
Beautiful stuff. Digital. Lithographic. Stunning.
Technologically advanced. Environmentally friendly.
Did they shoot a video telling us this?
Did they let us meet their team?
Did they show us some of their fine printing work?
No. They put a fox in a boat.
And it works!
From the first moment of this short animation we're on board and we go with the flow.
It's fun and full of character.
And if they care this much about what the opening experience of their website feels like, think how much they must care about everything else?
The full screen video technique removes all other distraction; we can dive in totally.
Because of the genius way the web developer and animators have crafted this sequence, no matter how 'wide' you have your web browser, the animation still works. As the action moves from left to right it reveals more, so it scales perfectly for a browser.
Then that lingering loop with the sound effects is just long enough for us to understand it's over, without it having an ugly abrupt final 'stop' to snap us out of the spell. Instead we scroll down and are hit with striking portfolio images: now we understand they must be good at what they do.
The experience (and it is exactly that) leaves us smiling. We immediately have a positive connection to the company. It doesn't go into the detail nor history of the brand but instead entertains. But subtley, the care in crafting that particular style of animation seeps into us too. It's refreshing and inspiring to see.
Crafted. Digital. Passion. Unique.
The words they use in the voiceover align with the visuals to underline both in our brains.
(Sailor) hats off to those in charge at Ashley House for being brave enough to NOT do the obvious.
It's a shame on a mobile browser we just see the video without the immersive experience we get on desktop. But the way such things are evolving it's surely only a matter of time until it'll work there as well. The mobile experience is still good, it just doesn't absorb you in quite the same way.
Why a boat? Well they're based in Exmouth, which is on a river, near the sea... so the whole 'welcome on board' and 'plain sailing' metaphor connects nicely in their area.
Why a fox? Well, clearly the penguin was too busy working already.
Here's to thinking differently.