Interviewed by "Luxury Daily"!

Luxury Daily quoted me extensively this week in the article entitled “How luxury marketers can entice purchase by using sound in digital marketing.” Rachel Lamb’s article details how luxury brands are using sound to communicate with consumers via the Internet. I was thrilled when I was asked to provide my opinion as an “industry expert”. I was able to provide a lot of detailed information about the use of sound in relation to luxury website design, so if you are interested, be sure to check out the article on my website design blog:
How luxury marketers can entice purchase by using sound in digital marketing

Posted By Rachel Lamb
On July 21, 2011 @ 4:45 am

Since luxury marketers have already lost the tactile sense when using digital marketing, adding sound where it counts can truly help them convince affluent consumers to buy their products, according to experts. Brands that carefully use sound online and in mobile applications can entice consumers to buy products by enveloping them in as many senses as possible to mock an in-person experience. Since touch and smell cannot be used in digital efforts, sound is the most effective.

Ferrari’s engine can be heard online
“The more senses that you can engage, the more possibility you have to trace your brand into their mind,” said Jack Burke, president of Sound Marketing Inc., Branson, MO.
“Brands should not use sound gratuitously – there should be a reason and purpose to the sound,” he said. “In many cases, the easiest way for a luxury brand or any brand to engage is with sound used as an informational resource. [Luxury products] are expensive, and it’s a big deal to some people. Sound and educational resources help to engage them and to help them feel comfortable about the decision that they are making.”
Revving up
Marketers who arguably use sound most effectively are automakers. Whether it is with a video of a car zooming by or with a sound of a honk, consumers are better able to visualize the experience of being in a car, even if they are just researching on their computers. For instance, Aston Martin and Ferrari allow consumers to hear many features of the cars on their Web sites.
When consumers click on an Aston Martin vehicle, they are able to choose different sound settings , such as engine start, 0-120 miles-per-hour acceleration, engine revving, drive-by fast and pass by.
Aston Martin also employs this strategy in its Aston Martin Explore mobile app, where consumers can tap on the ignition to hear the engine rev.Additionally, when consumers are taking a virtual tour of a Ferrari on the automaker’s Web site, they can click on the ignition and listen to the car start up.
“I think you have to be really careful about how you incorporate sound into a Web site,” said Andrea Bertola, owner of The New York Website Designer, New York. “There is nothing more jarring than visiting a Web site and jumping five feet out of your chair when the sound unexpectedly blares out of your speakers.”
“In retrospect, sound can absolutely enhance a Web site if the user has the option to select it,” she said. “Humans are curious by nature, use it to your advantage.
“You always want your Web site user to feel like they are in control.”
Apparel and accessories designer Ralph Lauren also uses this tactic for his personal interests.
Known car enthusiast Mr. Lauren has dedicated a section of the brand’s Web site to the L’Art de L’Automobile exhibition in France.Consumers can visit the exhibit online and scroll through old-fashioned models from Ferrari, Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley. By clicking on the various models, they can hear what the engines sound like when the car starts, when it is driving away and when it is passing nearby. This cycle plays in a loop for each vehicle. Consumers are able to hear what it sounds like when they are both inside and outside of these cars.
Mercedes’ engine sounds on the Ralph Lauren site
Subtle sounds
Luxury marketers other than automakers are creatively tapping sound to enhance digital experience. For instance, Christian Dior is using subtle sound imagery with its Miss Dior Cherie campaign starring actress Natalie Portman.
The brand has a microsite dedicated to the fragrance. When consumers enter it, they are encouraged to “pull” on the bow of a box, tipping it over and spilling its contents.
Consumers can hear the gentle thump of the box hitting the table and hear its contents rolling out.
The process repeats with the sound of more boxes tipping over and a ribbon being pulled, as well as watching and listening to a record roll along the countertop and spinning and settling on the surface.
“Many people are auditory in nature and obtain what they hear more so than what they read,” Sound Marketing’s Mr. Burke said.
“If you put something in writing and have the opportunity to put it in sound or video, then you lose an opportunity to engage with the customer,” he said. “The more senses you engage, the better off you are. That’s the strength of the auditory sense. To not use it is to short-sheet your marketing efforts.”
Indeed, many luxury brands can use sound to evoke the feeling of luxury. For instance, retailers could use the sound of crinkling tissue paper or luxury hotels could play the same gentle music on their Web sites as they do in their lobbies or elevators.
“A good Web site should provide an experience for the user,” New York Website’s Ms. Bertola said. “By indulging their senses, we are able to captivate them on different levels,” she said. “By doing so, the brand is offering a more memorable experience that will leave a lasting impression.”

Article printed from Luxury Daily:
URL to article:


Videos for your Website!

The New York Website Designer is thrilled to announce a partnership with Russ Geltman, to provide an exclusive package for clients! Russell Geltman is a New York based Cinematographer who got his start in Television in Los Angeles, working as a Union Camera Assistant on shows such as “Entourage”, “ER”, and “Deadwood”. With this partnership, you can have Hollywood quality videos on your website!

For online videos, Russ uses state-of-the-art, equipment resulting in unrivaled quality for a truly affordable price.  Contact Andrea to discuss your budget for your online video needs and we will provide you with a proposal.

View Russ’s Reel:

Five Reasons Why You Should Add Video to Your Website:

1)  The Personal Touch.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. A video gives your website visitors a well-rounded picture of who you are while setting a welcoming vibe. (It’s also a great way to show there is an actual human being they are interacting with…and not a SPAM company!)

2)  Search Engine Optimization. By posting your video on YouTube, you will increase your online visibility by 125%. Videos help generate a buzz and drive traffic to your site. Especially if the video goes viral! Read more about Search Engine Optimization >>>

3)  Keep Visitors on Your Website. You want to keep visitors on your website for as long as possible. 69% of internet users watch video online (Pew Research 2010). Visitors  are more likely to watch an entire video clip than they are to read an entire webpage, blog post or article.

4)  Credibility. An educational video will help you to establish yourself as an expert. Online educational videos have risen in adult viewership from 22% to 38% since 2007. (Pew Research, 2010). By providing useful information, how-to-videos and online seminars; your clients will regard you as a trusted expert.

5)  The ‘WOW’ Factor. Show your website visitors that you have your finger on the pulse with the latest technology. Your website is modern and your use advanced marketing tools will only be a positive reflection of you and/or your company! 
For more information visit:

Another 5-Star Review on Yelp!

Another glowing review! I love hearing from happy website clients! Shayna Hiller, owner of left the following review on Yelp:

“Andrea is so reliable, knowledgeable, and creative. She offers such comprehensive, cutting-edge service… I couldn’t ask for more! I owe alot of my business to her for designing such a unique, eye-catching website!”

Thank you, Shayna! (For those of you looking for a Health Coach… Shayna is unbelievable!)

Need a website? 

In Loving Memory…

Nicolina “Nanny” Bonfiglio
January 28, 1929 – February 24, 2011
In loving memory, my eulogy for my Grandmother…
On behalf of the children and grandchildren of Nicolina Bonfiglio, I want to thank you all for joining us today in celebration of her life. We honor her in this bon-voyage gathering to wish her well in her journey to the ultimate reunion in the sky. Oh, what a reunion that will be!
Everyone in this room had a special relationship with Nanny. She used to call me her shining star. I know she had some nicknames of her own. Nanny, Nan, Nelle, Niki, Nicolina, Mrs. Bonfiglio, Nelly the Cat, Nelly the Original, Aunt Nelly, Mom… and now we can all be united in calling her our guardian angel.
She didn’t waste one minute in letting us know that she is up there watching over us. We all know how much she loved the lotto. She was notorious for playing numbers with special meanings. It was for this reason that we paid close attention to her time of passing: 8:35pm. Many of us played the number the next day, in her honor. Well, in true Nanny “style”, 8-3-5 came up in her beloved pick-3 lotto… not even 24 hours after her passing. I’d like to publicly apologize to Nanny for dropping the ball and not getting a ticket in NJ where the number came up. I know she rigged that one just for us. [Pause, smile]. In any event, I feel like we won anyway. She sent us a sign. It was her way of saying that she is going to take care of us. She’s up there, she’s ok… and she finally hit the jackpot.
Nanny got a ton of lotto tickets at her 80th Birthday party!
Today, I look at her penchant for the lotto with new eyes. The lottery is a symbol of hope. We hope for the best, but some of us get lucky in the draw and some don’t. By all accounts, you would say that Nanny had a tough life filled with many hardships. Her struggles made her an incredibly strong, resilient woman. These are the very qualities that many of us cherished in her. She was like the little engine that could. God help anyone that tried to get in her way! She defied doctors for years. She was a fighter. She was courageous. She was proud of her strength. I am in awe of her strength. We all are.
In one of our last conversations she whispered to me, “Andrea, I know I seem tough on the outside; but I’m really a softie on the inside.” She talked about how she felt she had to be strong to protect the family. It was her deep love and devotion to our family that kept her strong. It kept her going. She only wanted the best for us and she fought tooth and nail to make sure we had it. What she lacked in riches she made up for with passion. She once told me, “True wealth is what you are, not what you have. You can inherit money, but never wisdom or respect.” She held strong to her ideals, her opinions and her beliefs. Some would call it stubbornness. 🙂 I like to think of it as strong-willed.
If she was with us right now, I know she would want to pass on some words of wisdom. One last time. We all know that she ALWAYS had to have the last word. Even when I would call her on the phone, we would go back and forth with our goodbyes. She always had to be the last one to say goodbye. So, as one final goodbye I’d like to share her Christmas toast. I believe she knew, in her heart, that it would be her parting words to our family. 
On December 25th, 2010 she said:
“I want to thank you, God, for letting me share this day with these beautiful people. Each and every one of them has a special place in my heart, for things they’ve said and done through the years. And thank you for my two sons and my daughter; my daughter-in-law and my son-in-law; my seven grandchildren; and my new grandson (Nicole’s husband) Michael. And I want to thank you for all these blessings. Watch over them God, because I’ve been doing it all these years…and I’m getting a little tired now, and I know my days are numbered.“
Well Nan, it’s time for you to rest now. I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Thank you.” Thank you so very much. The lottery is a symbol of hope, and we got the luck of the draw. We hit the jackpot with you in our lives. You are one-of-a-kind. You light-up our lives, like you light-up a room. Now you’ll light-up the skies as you sparkle and shine, like you always have. I love you, my shining star.
Three generations: Nanny, Mom and me. 

Your Loving Granddaughter,
(Always and Forever)

Website Testimonial…

From Charlotte Hiller, :

“Whew…. I put this off long enough! That is, getting onto my new website and actually putting words on the pages. Thank you to Andrea Bertola for creating such a great site. If you’d like her help in setting up a website, please call or email me and I’ll be happy to give you her email address. She’s incredibly talented!

Custom Christmas Card

Are you looking for custom christmas cards this year? It’s not too late! Did you know that Website Designer NYC also offers graphic design services? I’ll use my graphic design skills to make a custom christmas card that is unique! No one will have a card like yours!! Check out this project that was just completed. The client provided me with a professional photograph taken of her children this past summer. The challenge was “winterizing” the image to make it seasonal for a holiday card. Here is the original image:

(click image to view larger version)
The first step was turning the green grass into a blanket of white snow. The next step was changing some of the details to add a bit of the “Christmas” feeling. The slide was changed to red, the details on the baby’s shirt were also changed to red. The most difficult part of this project was changing the rainbow colored lollypops to Christmas colors. Finally, some falling snow was added as well as a festive holiday greeting! Viola! The finished product:

(click image to view larger version)
Are you looking for a custom holiday card?
Contact Andrea:

Websites for Singers

Websites for singers! Are you a singer in search of a custom made website? Your website needs to be as unique as your personality. Laura Parker came to me after reading positive reviews on my Yelp page. She is a professional opera singer that was looking to promote herself with her own custom made website.

Laura wanted to be able to post pictures, resumes, videos and audio clips on her site. Being that I have my masters in Theatre and a background in acting, I knew EXACTLY what Laura needed to be able to market herself in the performing arts. (Websites for actors, websites for singers, and websites for artists are my favorite websites to design!)

We talked about incorporating a blog into her website, so that she could post current news and general “musings”. I also mentioned that a blog is the best tool she could use to help her with her search engine rankings! As far as the “look and feel” of her website, Laura wanted a clean, feminine design. Check out the finished product:

She said, “I looked at all of the yelp web designers, and after talking to Andrea on the phone, I knew we would be a great fit. Her intuition is absolutely incredible; she was able to capture my personality and my vision as if she’d known me forever. She’s fast, efficient, and so easy to work with for a great price. I would recommend her to anyone, especially fellow artists and those in creative industries. I adore my website!”

Thank you, Laura and best of luck with the launch of

To make it a full-circle story… Laura posted a great review on yelp for The Web Key: Website Design.

Oh the places You’ll Go…

I had originally decided to deconstruct Klaus Kinski’s book, “Kinski Uncut”. As I was reading it, the text was so dark that I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose it with something really childlike and innocent. “Kinski Uncut” follows Klaus through his chaotic life. It’s an erotic story as he explains (it vivid detail) his never-ending desire for women. I thought juxtaposing this story with “Oh the places You’ll Go” would be very interesting. That particular Dr. Seuss book is often given out as a graduation present. It is a symbol for the opportunities that lay before a young person. I wanted to explore what happens when a person takes the wrong road. I also wanted to explore Klaus’ book from the perspective of the scorned women he left behind. I chose to have the (literally) hundreds of women he left behind represented in one person. Of “all the places you’ll go” how far could a person get to that line? What is the ultimate revenge? I wanted to push myself in this scene and explore a really dark topic. I wanted to see if I would be able to create and direct a powerful piece that doesn’t rely on fluff, pop culture, comedy or any other tricks I have up my sleeve.
Below are some excerpts I cut from the Dr. Seuss poem. As you can see… when they stand alone they are quite dark:
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. 
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. 
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. 
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. 
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. 
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! 
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? 
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. 
Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. 
On you will go though your enemies prowl. 
On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. 
Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. 
On and on you will hike. 
And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
I took the idea of “the waiting place” and thought of it as a sort of ‘Limbo’ where people are waiting all alone. They might have to face their fears. A “weirdish, wildish space where you find things that “scare you so much you won’t want to go on”. I decided to use the idea of abortion and a woman’s womb. A woman taking back control of her body. I wanted it to be heavy on symbolic meanings so that an audience could impose their own story on the piece. I wanted to play with universal themes. However, I needed to have a very clear story for my actress. You can’t play universal themes if you don’t have an underscoring thru line. This just leads to confusion.
The story we came up with for my actress:
She was in love with Klaus and would do anything to be close to him; however he just used her for sex. (like many of the women he describes in the book). She was poor, desperate and not well educated. She has no identity other than when she is with him. He gives her self-worth. The type of woman that puts a man before herself. No confidence, no self respect. She found out she was pregnant with his baby and he wanted nothing to do with her. This enraged her. She thought the baby would change their relationship. She despised him and she despised herself. Even worse she despised his growing fetus inside of her. The rage empowered her to take the life of the baby. She tried to terminate the pregnancy. She ended up killing herself in the process.
As the scene begins she wakes up in a hazy fog, as she finds herself in “limbo”… however she doesn’t know where she is yet. She finally discovers the blood on her hands (symbolic) and realizes where she is. She tries to wipe the blood off her hands and this results in staining her white dress with blood (symbol). She starts hearing voices and seeing bits of her life flash before her. She hears her own voice and sees herself in the mirror. The last voice of Klaus, saying, “We can’t be together right now.” She falls to the floor in a fit of despair. As she rises, we see that her skirt is covered in blood. Her womb bleeds for him.
She finds the bowl of water and decides to cleanse herself. (A symbolic baptism). As she pours the clear water into the bowl, it fills with red blood. She tries to cleanse the blood from her hands and at the bottom of the bowl she discovers the placenta. She instantly connects with it and mothers it. She rocks it and kisses it. Sorry that she terminated the fetus’ life out of revenge. For once, she is in control. She has her own identity away from Klaus. In a final symbolic moment she ingests the placenta as a way to become whole once more. She has resolved her tormented feelings and can leave limbo. Symbolically the baby with go with her. Blackout.
Inspiration Pictures:

Yikes. Pretty sick. I don’t know where this piece came from! But I think it’s beautiful at the same time. Though I’m prochoice, I didn’t want this piece to be political in nature. I tried to find balance. She terminated the pregnancy, which is a prochoice stance… yet she ended in limbo, which leans towards the stance of the prolife team. However, she could be in limbo for a number of reasons: killing herself, revenge, unresolved issues, self loathing…etc. She could be in limbo because the baby died with the “original sin”. Or it could be perceived as a dream/nightmare.
Luckily enough after scouring the internet for audio versions of the poem, I found a version that someone had made for an art project. They had used some of the text, but integrated it with really creepy music! Perfect.
I wanted to use a fog machine… I felt it was really important to create the right atmosphere.
In rehearsal we did a ton of emotional work as we deconstructed the moments. I wanted her emotional reactions to the scene to be authentic. Everything else is so gruesome and horrifying that we need the audience to become immediately invested in her and willing to go with her on the journey. I felt as though leaving a sense of ambiguity would “hook” them. Their curiosity would lead them through our story.
Each person in the audience will be engaged as they as themselves:
Who is she?
Where is she?
What is wrong with her?
Who are the voices she hears?
What does the blood represent?
What does her white outfit represent?
What does the water represent?
And finally, I hope it would foster dialogue and begin a conversation on the ‘controversial’ subject of abortion, life, death and the afterlife.

After notes:

I was thrilled with my scene. I was glad the smoke machine worked so well. I own the machine and have used it in numerous performances before so I knew how to alter it for the purpose of using it in a classroom environment. I had adjusted the ratio of “smoke juice: to water” this way it wouldn’t bother anyone’s eyes, or lungs…and it wouldn’t set of the smoke alarm in the building. It’ was basically a 90% water solution. This worked against me in some ways, because had there been more fluid the smoke would have stayed in a thicker layer on the floor, instead of rising up and evaporating so quickly. I had really hoped to create the illusion of her walking through the clouds…but I think a moody atmosphere was achieved, so I’m happy with that. The scene was visually beautiful. I think the grey walls, big windows, and use of the setting natural light really helped to set the mood. The red blood added serious “shock value” especially against her stark white dress in the blank space. I was excited when people had asked me later— “where did you hide all of the blood?” This was the first time I had ever used elements of “magic” in my scene and I’m glad that it turned out so well! I definitely ruined a couple of shirts practicing THAT one… but it was totally worth it.

This scene was such a stretch for me and I was cringing while I watched the scene. It went against every bone in my body to rely so heavily on the emotional work with my actress. I have never used a bare stage and those first minutes of her exploration killed me! I was afraid the audience would be bored! I had to trust myself and trust our work. I was rewarded as I watched the faces of the audience and they seemed to be captivated! Success!