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Paradigm Uses Baseball Star to Draw Clicks to Crestar

Crestar Bank's first Internet marketing campaign includes banners featuring Baltimore Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. and contests offering a chance to win a day with baseball's most-consecutive-games-played titleholder.

The campaign, developed and implemented by Paradigm Interactive Inc., Atlanta, in conjunction with the marketing services group at Crestar, Richmond, VA, was launched concurrently with a similar campaign at the bank's branches on April 1. It ended April 30.

By clicking on banners of Ripken placed mainly on sports sites, consumers were led to Crestar's Web site, where they could sign up to win a chance to meet Ripken, who has partnered with the bank for several endorsements

“He's very recognizable in that part of the country,” said Larry Weissman, president of Paradigm Interactive, referring to the bank's branch territory of Virginia, Maryland and Washington. “It's a great hook for that region to click on such a recognizable figure on the banner and then see what Crestar has to offer.”

The contest will award six first-place winners four Orioles tickets each to the June 6 home game against the Atlanta Braves. The winners also will receive free lodging and a chance to meet Ripken.

Thirty second-place winners will win baseballs autographed by Ripken, and 60 third-place winners will win Sony Watchman televisions. Other contest entrants also may win Crestar-branded merchandise.

“It's part of a corporate initiative in which we've been promoting endorsements from Cal in our branch ads,” said Hillary Blackburn, Crestar's electronic commerce sales manager of the campaign.

The bank's only previous Internet advertising had been on the Washington page of sidewalk.com, she said.

Paradigm is developing other banners to promote Crestar's products and services. One banner leverages the bank's tagline “Bank when, where and how you want at Crestar,” and another promotes a satisfaction guarantee — customers who meet established conditions are paid $50 dollars if they are not satisfied with certain accounts they opened at the bank. Those ads have not yet been placed but will be tested on a variety of sites, particularly those in regions which have bank branches.

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