Branded micro-sites, it appears, are still alive and well. With the help of Omnicom Group's FreshWorks/The Integer Group and interactive technology provider Oddcast, 7-Eleven has launched a new online "experience" to promote its Slurpee beverages.
The "BrainFreeze Laboratory" encourages visitors to upload their picture to see how drinking a Slurpee beverage will change the color of their complexion, and then to send pictures along to friends.
"We chose to go viral with this campaign because we wanted to drive traffic to Slurpee.com, said David Morley, interactive creative director at FreshWorks/The Integer Group.
The campaign is expected to run through July, and is being cross-promoted through banner ads, the Slurpee Web site, and promotional emails.
The micro-site campaign is powered by Oddcast's PhotoFace--a technology that transforms a single photo into 3D avatar models.
Oddcast's technology has appealed to an increasing number of advertisers and publishers interested in engaging consumers with highly interactive online experiences.
The PhotoFace facial recognition and manipulation feature maps out the key elements of each image and alters them to create the "brain altering effect." This allows the image to take on varying facial expressions.
An unusual aspect of this technology is its ability to remember the key dynamics of each and every pixel, according to Adi Sideman, CEO of Oddcast.
The result, said Sideman, is "little user input that generates a high-production-value media."
Oddcast partnerships typically start at $75,000, which increase based on how many videos are involved, and the length of the videos, among other factors.
To date, Oddcast has had a number of successes, including its Elfyourself viral marketing campaign for OfficeMax, and its Monk-e-mail campaign for Careerbuilder.com.