"It's an old adage, but we believe we're only as good as our last piece of work", says Daniel Bonner, executive creative director of AKQA. After nearly 12 years with the company, his guidance has helped the award-winning London team become one of the world's most creative and innovative. It has an impressive showreel that features creative for Virgin, Smirnoff, Pot Noodle, Nike, Xbox 360 and Coke among its recent projects, and so the agency has plenty of work to shout about. As Bonner explains, "We live in a digital age, and our work is about participation - connecting brands with consumers, bringing things to life, and getting people involved."

AKQA's recent creation of the Fiat website is a great example of this interactive nature of websites. As Nick Turner, creative director, explains, "The brief was a simple one-liner: sell more cars. Fiat wanted to make sure it wasn't just a pretty site, but that we would create the world's best automotive website, and bring Fiat into the digital era." Tasked with profiling the whole range and making people more aware of the Fiat brand, the AKQA team visited dealerships and went on dealer training; by learning how to sell cars, they could interpret the different elements into the online environment. "Car websites usually show the cars cut out on white," Turner continues, "so our challenge was to show the range but in a different way. We consulted architects on the geometrics and created an environment based on the Lingotto building in Turin, the original Fiat building. It has five floors connected with ramps, so we used these ramps to create a hyper-real, photorealistic showroom - we wanted people to ask if it was a 'real' showroom." The whole environment was created in 3D rather than video, using CAD drawings of the cars at angles chosen by the client. The challenge, as Turner explains, when working closely with RealtimeUK to produce all the 3D components, was to make sure it looked like a real showroom, not a game. You can check out images of the drafts and 3D models in Showcase on your disc.

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