WestWayne wants to be your friend

So the other day I went to check out the WestWayne website only to find the above. I almost closed the window but *thankfully* read it in time to find that this was not the typical “Site not found” but rather a clever swap-out. Turns out they did the SEO on it too, do a search for WestWayne in Google and you’ll find the basic message they’re trying to get across. Site-redesign? Clever marketing ploy? Back-up webserver down + quick fix? Who knows? (Hey WestWayne Friends – feel free to email me with the answer) Either way I’m still curious if this led to any new business leads.

6/12/07 UPDATE: After emailing West Wayne, all I’ve received is a response informing me that Jane Matthews will be out of the office from 5/25-6/04….and that was a week ago. I guess the flood of new business inquiries must have slammed her Inbox! Who would have thought?

Share

11 comments

  1. Personally, I think this concept is brilliant for a website, but I’m concerned that it turned some people away from the site. I am used to getting those messages from other sites and I feel I would have just clicked through.

    On another note, brentter.com is amazing. I love it. Found you through adverblog.

    Keep it up!

  2. I don’t think this is brilliant. The more important from one website is this can sell the product or not. This website have no information about who they are. also they attach email address on the page. It can higher risk for email harvester to get that and spammer will send thousand of emails.

  3. Classic missed opportunity. The big idea is fantastic but it should have a small link to the agency’s content behind it. It’s simply not believeable as an agency philosophy when presented so thinly.

  4. WestWayne just relaunched themselves today so the website is out of order until the new one takes it’s place. I think the fake error message is clever and fits completely with WestWayne’s new agency brand positioning– friend experts rather than stuffy agency execs.

  5. Sounds like a desperate move, by desperate agency leadership. Just look at their record. Anything but impressive. Thank goodness for a couple key accounts who don’t have a clue. Good luck “Friendship Experts”, you’ll need it.

  6. Here’s what I know from a reliable source…they did in fact have an internal relaunch last week and apparently with a new name (???). Also, they’ve been in the midst of a hiring spree of sorts including most recently hiring a new creative director from Fallon. Guess we’ll have to watch this one to see how things evolve.

  7. Well, I think it’s safe to assume that Eleanor works for WestWayne(or whatever they’re now called)… thanks for choosing to have an anonymous post rather than contacting me directly regarding this.
    The only people who’d know it was a temp. site would be those directly involved with the company(esp. seeing how practically no one has paid attention to this except for me and adrants/steve hall(who i emailed in the first place btw)).

    Heck, had you contacted me I might have given you guys a little more press on your “rebranding.”

    Poor judgement(on both the site + decision process… bad intern: no cookie)
    Thanks and keep reading
    -Brent

  8. In addition, I just came across a perfect explanation of West Wayne’s current situation.. summed up nicely:
    “A classic example of grasping at straws. “Friendship Experts” is about as puffery as you can get.

    Honest insiders will tell you that this is yet another attempt to redefine a struggling agency which has continued to lose their way. These poor folks have taken more decisive blows than Rocky, but with the help of one large client who’s paying the bills, then get back in the ring for more rounds of disappointment.

    Decreased billings and essentially zero new business activity in over seven years. An exodus of large clients rushing out the door, numerous misguided agency philosophies, constant turnover and a revolving door of good talent, (it seems these guys have Fallon envy, and none of the moves have worked out). Even worse, an agency held captive by essentially one large client is not a good recipe.

    For those who need a translation of “business activity”, it’s means securing accounts of substance which are somewhat profitable, not pitching a lot and constantly coming in “second place”.

    Amid all the turmoil, “friendship experts” is the new slogan of choice. Never mind developing an arsenal of meeting the needs of clients in the next decade.

    Now get back in the ring and fight, or I mean, be “friendship experts”. If that doesn’t work out, here’s the next slogan: WestWayne – Have A Nice Day.” – taken from Bobby at AdPulp

    West Wayne – I’d love to hear a synopsis of your current re branding campaign(and why you chose to pull a “friendship” based placeholder… you can find my email under the “Contact” link in the top-right nav….i’ll even make it easy for you: Email me from a legit ww account with your side of the story and i’ll provide you with an open forum for discussing brand management/agency re-branding with readers of my site…who knows, depending on the strategy behind this and how well it’s accepted, this could easily be used as a springboard for your re-branding.
    ……just a thought.
    -brent

  9. I just called to talk to one of the planners there and the office manager greeted me with “Thank you for calling 22 squared, formerly West Wayne.” I’ll talk to a contact of mine to see what the details are, but noticed the 404 Friend site the other day.

  10. I get it. Everyone needs a friend. Just like 22Squared needs me as their Director of Print Production.

    Call me.

Comments are now closed.