Entertaining Error Messages: On a Boat with Empire Avenue

March 7, 2012

By: Andy Morales

Empire Avenue is a social measurement tool combined with a gamification level that mimics the intricacies of the stock market. When visiting their website, it is easy to get lost, confused, and overwhelmed. However, if you go to their website when it happens to be down, you are greeted with a friendly and interesting error message. “We’re on a boat!” The silly message and the boat with their logo on the flag humanizes the brand communication during an awkward moment. Even the URL of the error page, oops.empireavenue.com, tries to add humor to the situation.

No one wants their website to experience any downtime, but these things happen. Empire Avenue does a great job with creative branding by recognizing the unexpected embarrassment, displaying personality, and then directing the visitor to their Twitter account to find help. Now it would be great if they actually provided a link to their Twitter account, but at least they display the last 5 tweets that mention them or their specific hashtag. So if you do reach this error page during a downtime, you can see if others have been notifying Empire Avenue via Twitter.

Even when things go wrong, you can always be branding.

Empire Avenue On A Boat Error Message

Meet Guest Blogger: Andy Morales 

Andy Matters of GreyAndy Morales is a cofounder of MattersofGrey.com. Matters of Grey is a geek collective writing about web design, social medias, typography, technology, nerd humor, ringtones, and is a leading provider of comprehensive information to users of Foursquare. Their Foursquare Badge List and Foursquare Forum provide the world with the details of all things Foursquare.


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