Nabisco, a business with a rich and colorful history, is able to trace its founding back to the late 1800s. In the next century, the company experienced a sustained period of growth and became no stranger to the process of mergers and acquisitions, before finally coming to rest under the considerable umbrella of Kraft at the turn of the millennium.
Anybody want to play cards? Or is baseball more your thing?
That last paragraph wasn’t a cheap shot at checking your current level of concentration. Instead, it was driven by the somewhat perverse dichotomy of ride’em cowboy and duty-bound protocol that masquerades as Nabisco’s homepage.
If you’re looking for information on history, company structure, profile or even mission statement, then Nabisco.com is most definitely not for you. If on the other hand you would like to fritter away the hours playing shockwave games while the company’s not inconsiderable brand portfolio chugs away in the background, then get your skates on quick.
There seldom has been a stranger web proposition than Nabisco’s. So strange in fact that it demands a double take. On one side of the page the user is invited to take part in such classics as Texas Hold’em Poker, 3D Billiards and Ping Pong; the other side invites those with a culinary bent to try some new and inviting recipes from Nabisco’s extensive library. And the brands that support this bizarre proposition? Well, they’re left to wander across the bottom of the screen in a weak-minded html marquee, like a bedraggled bunch of second-class citizens.
Don’t be fooled by the claim that the games are designed to be played on the “Nabisco World” site either, as the portals for Nabisco World and Nabisco are simply one and the same.
If you are prepared to persevere with the site and indulge yourself a little, you will be treated to some excellent flash driven cameos of online branding. The “Oreo” and “Ritz” sections are particularly worthy of mention, with the latter having a charming little hostess called Cindy who obligingly helps registered users create a perfect party by taking care of everything from the invites and activities to the recipes themselves. Likewise, the online “Whole Grain Market” is innovative and informative and a definite enhancement to an otherwise convoluted web proposition.
Sadly and despite the upsides, however, the ubiquity of the games portfolio is just too overpowering and screams at the user from every angle. If Nabisco were in the entertainment market then one could see the point, but given that its primary concern is the manufacturing and distribution of crackers and snacks, someone needs to take a long hard look at the site.
So at the risk of being branded a killjoy, I’m afraid Nabisco.com is going to need more structure and a deeper contextual feel if it’s going to improve. In many ways it’s a bit like Paris Hilton—famous for one achievement when it should be more notable for another. But it’s not as if Nabisco needs razzle dazzle to cover up for a lack of substance.
Ian Cocoran has worked as a senior manager and director with a number of multinational organizations and has been a contributor to brandchannel since its inception. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and daughter.
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.