Cybercritique: Athletic club developer kicks a smart strategy

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MARKETER: Crunch Inc.

WHERE TO FIND IT: crunch.com

CRITIQUE: A recent poll on sibling publication BtoB's Web site (netb2b.com) found folks fairly evenly split about what they would want to win in an Internet promotion. Palm personal organizers, cash, digital cameras and frequent-flier miles grabbed nearly equal votes in the informal online survey. Had the site listed the prize that athletic club developer Crunch Inc. is giving away, there probably would have been a breakaway winner.

Well, something would get broken anyway.

Crunch rides the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" trend in its own special way. While its contest won't make anyone a millionaire, it will teach seven people how to kickbox and give the grand prize winner (who gets the 10-week course plus a one-year athletic club membership and a trip for two to New York) a chance to go toe-to-toe with a genuine member of the leisure class and, as the contest promotes, "kick a millionaire's ass."

It certainly sounds like fun.

It seems Crunch asked itself the right questions before setting up the contest. A non-Internet company (Crunch) selling a very non-Internet product (gym memberships) creates plenty of opportunity to build its business through the Internet. How many mouse-pad quarterbacks would like to sign up for a gym without leaving home?

The contest was backed by TV spots that didn't explain much about the promotion, but did drive traffic to the company's Web site at crunch.com. Once there, Web surfers had a chance (before the June 1 entry deadline) to exercise their right to poke around and see what's what in the world of fitness.

WHO CREATED IT: Dimasimo Brand Advertising, New York.

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