Web ingEnue-ity

Forget banner ads. VivianLives.com takes Net marketing to a whole new level by creating a cyber “It” girl, Vivian, who endorses products and dispenses fashion tips.

Sherrie Krantz, founder and CEO of Forever After in New York, parent company of VivianLives.com, said that for companies used to traditional advertising, a cyber-celeb is a way of translating such efforts to the Net. “When a brand or product is endorsed by a virtual celebrity, then it makes sense,” she said. “It’s back to a place where [the message] is really digested and people care.”

The site, which celebrates its first anniversary this month, stars animated character Vivian, a 24-year-old New Yorker. It offers a variety of activities based on her life, including an animated “Web-cam” that tracks her every move, and a virtual tour through her NoLiTa apartment, during which users can rifle through her closets and read her diary.

Throughout the site, products that Vivian likes can be clicked on, from the Gibson guitar in her bedroom to Paul Mitchell shampoo in the shower. There is also a “stoop sale” where users can purchase products “chosen by Vivian.”