*Site59.com Gets Spontaneous with its Marketing

To promote its soft launch yesterday, Site59.com unearthed a grassroots marketing campaign in Manhattan involving free water bottles and miniature address books as well as female actors dressed as clocks.

Site59.com, a travel and entertainment site for spontaneous U.S. travelers, is hoping its efforts will build a buzz about the site leading up to its launch. The site is expected to roll out a national advertising campaign involving print, radio, television and outdoor buys.

In the meantime, the site’s “urban saturation” plan began in New York and will spread to the site’s target cities, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C., in the future.

The plan calls for hired hands to give away thousands of free bottles of water bearing the Site59 logo at various health spas across Manhattan including Equinox and New York Sports Club. Depending upon the response to the promotion, the site will either continue the give away or scale it back.

Health spas were selected because they are frequented by the site’s target audience of men and women ages 29 to 45 earning $50,000 or more.

Another attention-getting segment of the campaign is the “Clock Woman” mascot. She will be wandering through major commuter areas like Penn and Grand Central Stations handing out calling cards with the site’s logo, Web address and the tagline “time for life. 59th minute inspirations for the spontaneous soul.” Calling cards will also be distributed at coffee shops, bars and restaurants throughout the city.

“Our message is that you can create time for life at the 59th minute,” said Colleen Challenger, vice president of marketing for Site59.com, New York. “We offer spontaneity travel based on our partners’ inventory.”

An example of one of Site59’s packages is “The Boss in Music Mecca Memphis.” The two-person package includes airfare, hotel reservations and tickets to the Bruce Springsteen concert in Memphis for $1,105.

The site has also created “Spontaneity Points” or “Spoints” to encourage repeat purchases. Consumers earn two Spoints for every dollar spent at the site before its official May launch. They can also earn Spoints for registering at the site and filling out reviews. Spoints can be redeemed for discounts on future packages. The site is in discussions with other loyalty providers to make the points redeemable for other currency as well.

Other less traditional marketing efforts are still being unveiled as well. The site’s logo will be drawn on sidewalks in chalk near the 59th Street subway station and other sections of the Big Apple. On St. Patrick’s Day, models will hand out logoed cards with a space on the back for names and phone numbers so parade-goers “wouldn’t have to use a matchbook” to write down the phone numbers of any new friends they might have made, according to Challenger. “We encourage spontaneity,” she said.

The site’s soft launch includes only its getaways and local flavors categories. Come May 15, all five of the categories including red carpet, wrapped & ready and beck & call will be fully functional.

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