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Converse Puts Distributed Twist on Microsite

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NEW YORK Converse has quietly rolled out an interactive campaign that puts a distributed media spin on the traditional Web microsite.

Rather than create a single destination, Converse agency Anomaly has built more than 20 minisites of offbeat content linked by a navigational scheme that mimics the popular Web discovery service StumbleUpon. Each site in the series has a unique Internet address, making it easy to share with friends or bookmark through a service like Digg.

The Web voyage begins at www.thisistheindexpage.com, where visitors are greeted with a menu of different sites. Each site holds brief Web experiences ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. Visitors are given a link to the main Converse site along with forward and back links to other sites in the series.

One site, "Converse Spelling Bee" (www.conversespellingbee.com), combines a contest with paid search advertising. The site asks visitors to type "ludicrous" into their search boxes. Doing so correctly brings up a search ad atop Google with copy reading "Ludicrous is correct" and a link to whatareacodeisroundtwo.com, where the game continues. After five rounds, the user is taken to aspellingbeewinnerisyou.com.

The campaign follows the Converse approach of aligning itself with indie culture, while also acknowledging the Web's diffuse characteristics. The rise of social media is causing some brands to question the effectiveness of the campaign microsite in favor of spreading content through various social platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace.

Many of the Converse sites feature video vignettes with characters. "Out of Your League Girl" stars in five videos that give guys advice about how to get women. "Silky Steve" is an unlikely basketball star -- he's English and not particularly tall or athletic -- waiting to get picked during the National Basketball Association draft.

Other sites veer toward oddity. At Kissingwithross.com, a bearded guy makes out with the camera (warning: he uses tongue) for over a minute. Oneshoestringfilms.com has shoestring puppets performing a short skit. Atleastyourenotlostatsea.com has film of a man lost at sea for eight days philosophizing on life. Atleastyourenotlostatseafor10days.com and atleastyournotlostatseafor13days.com continues the story.

While video predominates on the sites, others use simple animations.

Youshoulddoitnow.com features an animation set to music with inspirational text. Weretheonesyouvebeenwaitingfor.com has the word "me" slowly rotating to read "we." Iseverythinggoingtobeokay.com simply has "Yes, it is" in large type. Marquettewillbeback.com has a countdown clock to the beginning of the University of Marquette basketball season, set against the team's trademark gold color.

Anomaly did not respond to requests to discuss the effort.