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Monday, January 04, 2010

A Fun Digital Retail Experience: HEMA

HEMA goofy product page

HEMA Creates Fun Digital Retail Experience

What's Your Take? Success or Waste of Time?

Back in July 2009, my friend Linsey Levine sent me a link to a preposterous product website for HEMA, the Dutch department store. This wasn't a link to an ordinary product web page. Quite the opposite! Take a look for yourself. Visit http://producten.hema.nl/, sit back and let the page unfold...

What do you think?

Fun, no? Clever, too?

I've experienced it several times and really enjoy the whimsical and non-commercial fun of this web page. And, assuming it's an official page, it's coming from a department store first established in 1926. Talk about having a sense of humor and keeping up with the times...

I'm curious, though. What is the story behind this page? How long ago was it created? From the site, you can't navigate anywhere. Although the branding is related, it doesn't quite match up. So, how does it relate to the official HEMA web site? Is it primarily to create word-of-mouth buzz?

I found recent mention of it in Site of the Week: HEMA [posted on 12/30/09] with very similar information and instructions to what my friend's email included. [I.e.., "You can't order anything (it's in Dutch, anyway) but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens. Don't click on any of the item pictures, just wait and see what happens. This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer."]

If you Google 'HEMA,' the goofy product page ranks first, ahead of the official website. And, the Wikipedia entry includes reference to it.

So, a few questions for you:

+ What's your take on this digital retail experience?
+ How do you think it enhances the HEMA retail experience?
+ Have you come across similar fun retail experiences?
+ Would you do anything differently?


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