How Facebook photos turn into custom-drawn chipmunks

April 6, 2011 at 2:08 PM ET

This is an example of how the custom-drawn Hipmunk chipmunks might look. (These particular ones are of writers Robert Scoble and Jodi Ettenberg.)

Soon you might notice that some of your Facebook friends are posting custom-drawn chipmunk versions of themselves while proclaiming how much they love something called Hipmunk. What's going on — and how can your own Facebook photo be turned into one of those cute furry creatures?

The whole thing is part of a clever promotional campaign organized by travel search site Hipmunk.

Basically, the folks behind that site decided to enlist an artist known as SIDT — short for "sure, I'll draw that" and a nod to the artist's username on social news site Reddit — to create custom illustrations of Hipmunk fans.

In order to get one of the custom drawings, people simply have to like the Hipmunk Facebook page and then write a status update that tells Hipmunk their favorite travel destination and/or activity along with the text "Hipmunk Me!" (which needs to be tagged to the Hipmunk page so that the folks there receive a notification).

That's it. And as long as they're one of the first 500 people to participate before 10 p.m. (EDT) today, they'll receive a custom drawing.

While this is of course simply a marketing stunt, we are actually quite impressed by the approach taken by Hipmunk. It's quite rare that a company offers individually drawn custom images to people in such a large quantity.

Related stories:

Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.