2012 HOW Interactive Design Awards Best of Show

Looking at last year’s Interactive Design Awards Best of Show winner, we’re still wowed by this immersive campaign for the Nissan LEAF. Have you done an interactive project recently that would impress our juges? There’s still time to enter this year’s Interactive Design competition. Deadline: November 14!

Just as the industrial revolution created a need for new language to describe emerging technologies, the Nissan LEAF, the first mass-produced all-electric vehicle, required a new kind of website.

Canadian agency Critical Mass created an integrated online campaign for the Leaf using cutting-edge technology that not only educates consumers about the car, but also serves up a new way to sell cars, making it our Interactive Design Awards Best of Show winner.

best of show 2012 nissan leaf website

The campaign includes an HTML5 website that works as a knowledge base and sales brochure, a YouTube channel that lets users see the car up close, and Twitter and Facebook accounts for getting immediate info. “The thousands of questions we answered online far exceeded our expectations,” says planning director Chrissie Graboski. “The online reservation system took more orders in less time than we ever dreamed. All of this meant we had to be very flexible and on our toes.”

nissan leaf website facebook page

The website leads you through a series of questions to determine whether your driving habits, home and community make you a good match for the LEAF. The site is also the only channel for reserving a car.

Rather than playing the obvious green card, the creative team developed a visual style they call “sexy science.” At first they’d assumed they would target mainly people motivated by climate change and sustainability, but it turned out the main audience was actually early adopters. “We wanted to be intellectual, but not too academic,” says creative director Steve Savic. “And certainly, we wanted to be informative and beautiful. We were inspired by things like information graphics and data visualization.” This aesthetic was replicated across all channels the LEAF touched—broadcast, social media, print and web.

“Across the board, the visuals and interactivity work well with the product,” says Interactive Awards judge Tyson Damman of Big Spaceship. “The scale of this project goes well beyond those of most other entries, yet stays powerful across so many channels.”

The campaign was a whopping success: The initial run of 20,000 cars sold out three months ahead of schedule, with 5,000 reservations placed on the first day.

  • Title: the new car
  • Design Firm: Critical Mass, Calgary, Alberta
  • Advertising firm: TBWAChiatDay
  • Creative Team: Steve Savic, creative director; Peter Von Sass, copy director; Chrissie Graboski, planning director; Torin Segstro, technology director
  • Client: Nissan USA

how magazine march 2012 issue competitionBut that’s not all. Check out all the best international design work in HOW’s March 2012 issue. See the 2012 Interactive Design Awards Outstanding Award winners here, and check out our gallery of all the winners of the 2012 Interactive Design Awards.

Want to show off your best work and get a chance at being in the pages of HOW? Enter the 2013 Interactive Design Awards.