Sanofi : Wishing well

A greeting risks grating with visitors.

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The feature

Sanofi, a France-based pharmaceuticals company, greets visitors to its home page with an animated new year’s message. Sanofi’s home page is overlaid on launch by a smaller viewing screen framed in a grey tinted backdrop. An animated musical message offering a new year’s greeting in six languages then plays, The screen stays in place when the sequence ends but can be closed by clicking on a ‘X’ button attached to its top right corner. Switching between the sites two languages, English and French, reloads the message but it does not otherwise reappear if the home page is revisited during the session. The underlying conventional home page has a featured content panel headed 2012 below the main picture banner that contains a short new year’s greeting and a link to launch the musical message. On click this displays in the same way as on entry to the site.

The takeaway

Like others in its sector Sanofi positions itself online as a bringer of better health to individuals around the world, so its new year’s greeting to site visitors is a nice humanising touch in keeping with that personal and global focus. There is a risk, however, that in the effusive manner of its delivery it comes across as too overbearing in pressing its musical message on people. In its credit, Sanofi seems to recognise the potential to annoy and has taken steps to minimise it: the ‘X’ button allows visitors to bail out at any point and the show is a one-time greeting, with the site set not to relaunch it on return to the home page. That said, in fulfilling the same function more discreetly the alternative greeting format – a prominent but static panel offering the musical animation at the visitor’s discretion – prompts the question ‘why risk the annoyance in the first place?’.
First published 05 January, 2012
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