Why Flash rocks

Yes, yes, I know Flash websites are hard to link to and for search engines to spider. They can’t compete for Google juice compared to traditional HTML sites. But Flash really rocks if you want to get a message across visually. It leaves HTML for dead when you combine it with video.

Communicators, including myself, often fall into the trap of thinking only in words and text. Just pick up any copy of PRWEEK, take a look at the ads to see how almost all agencies try to communicate using words not visuals. Same with websites – it’s often a wall of words which visitors can’t be bothered to read. It’s hard to differentiate a brand or transmit a message that way unless your reader is determined.

Enter Flash. Flash is television to HTML’s print. It’s far more glycemic, international, entertaining, dynamic – and, well fun.

Take a look at this short Flash animation to see what I mean. OK, so this was developed by the LEWIS web team, so I am totally biased, but look beyond that to how this gets the message across in an entertaining, engaging and visual way. It combines animation with video, helps you identify with the characters, demonstrates credibility, passion and a sense of humor.

You lose some of the impact of this piece since it’s been condensed to play over the web, but videos like can be played full screen at events, burned to CDs or placed on thumb USB sticks. (There’s a download here if you want the full effect.) I’ve seen this internal vid about ten times and it still makes me laugh. Sure, Michael Hay and Sam Childs, our web boys, have done a bang up job with this, but it didn’t take them long. in fact, they’re at pains to point out how they didn’t really have much time to produce it, but to me that’s the point. It works and it’s quick. Get it right and it can also be viral. So I hope this gets you thinking how you can make your client or your company stand out.

Think visual – even if that means just getting some new photography, you’ll be on the right track. Meantime, enjoy the vid.

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  • I totally agree. While some critics will say Flash is useless for its SEO problems, it still is a useful tool.
    Some companies aren’t concerned with SEO and just want a stylish website – Flash allows them to do it.
    The Nike ID site is an excellent example of how Flash can be put to use. You can customise sports equipment and trainers to your own specific tastes using Flash. It’s great! (nikeid.nike.com)
    Enjoyed the video! I found the viral index on the site and watched the iPod spoof advert: iCantDance. Funny! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Stephen – actually you can do plenty of SEO with a Flash site. Our default is Flash – type ‘PR agency’ into Google and we’re currently fourth. It’s important to have an HTML one as well to ensure you have as wide an audience as possible. Not difficult if they pull the content from the same database.
    This vid and the one you mention – I Can’t Dance – were done for internal purposes. I didn’t post that one but here it is too – http://www.lewispr.com/viral/icantdance.mpg
    Am sure Apple won’t mind – we buy enough of their kit. Sincerest form of flattery and all that.

  • “actually you can do plenty of SEO with a Flash site.” I didn’t know that – I’d read/heard people saying you couldn’t so I just assumed so. I’ve just typed ‘pr’ into Google and LEWIS is fifth also.
    The iPod video is a great example of customer evangelism. There’s some talented creatives out there. Makes me a little jealous of how creative they are sometimes! πŸ™‚