Back in 2004, I reviewed the campaign for the third Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” When I got to the section of the review where I dealt with the movie’s official website, I experienced a feeling that I hadn’t had when researching other movies’ campaigns: complete and utter frustration. My goal was to not only find out what content was on the site, but also to try and relay that in a simple way to the readers of my column. This particular site, though, was laid out in a way that almost seemed purposefully hard to navigate. It was full of maps with labels that didn’t quite explain what they were and content that repeated itself over and over again in multiple sections. It was probably the most confusing site I had seen, and I related to my readers that it was almost useless for finding information on the film. Obviously it made a strong impression on me if I still single it out two years later.
What made it all the more frustrating is that the official website is one of what I call the “big three” components for a movie’s marketing campaign (the other two being posters and trailers). Everything else — promotional partnerships, product placement, contests, ringtones, et cetera — are just gravy. I’m not saying those things aren’t important. They are. But they need to be built on the foundation that the big three have laid down.
Source: Build a Stickier Film Site