TY CREATES SPECIAL BEANIE BABY TO PUSH CLUB FOR STUFFED TOYS' FANS

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Marketer: Ty Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.

Effort: Beanie Babies Official Club.

Agency: Cyrk-Simon Worldwide, Gloucester, Mass.

Twist: In an attempt to build a long-term brand identity for its runaway hit Beanie Babies collectible toys and to deepen its relationships with consumers, Ty hired promotion company Cyrk-Simon to develop marketing continuity programs. The shop, with expertise in developing rewards-driven continuity programs for Philip Morris Cos.' cigarette brands, devised a promotion for a limited-edition Beanie Baby "Clubby," available only to members of the Beanie Babies Official Club.

Vital statistics: To get the newest Beanie Baby, consumers must buy an official BBOC Membership Kit for $9.95 through selected retailers. The offer is touted with extensive point-of-purchase materials. The kit contains a membership card, a giant poster with 136 Beanie Baby stickers and a request form to order "Clubby" by mail for $5.99. Cyrk is backing the effort with public relations and a Web site (www.beaniebabyofficialclub.com), currently one of the top 10 most-visited sites on the Internet.

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