Etonic Unveils New Theme

BOSTON Crunch Brand Communications is preparing to launch its first advertising effort for athletic footwear company Etonic.

The work introduces the tagline “First one there,” a change from recent client advertising, which had been themed, simply, “Evolve.”

Crunch, an independent boutique agency here, said it has devised a strategy that positions Etonic as an industry leader in golf performance footwear with a six-decade history of innovation.

Creative aims to leverage the brand’s heritage “while making it pertinent to the future,” said Karen Pitts, Etonic’s vice president of global marketing.

An effort was made to “communicate that Etonic is not resting on their laurels and continues to push technology to meet the needs of performance athletes,” said Ted Schlueter, CEO of Crunch.

Print ads for Etonic’s 2005 G-Sok line of golf shoes will debut in the next few weeks. A more integrated campaign breaks in the fall with direct marketing, Internet ads and grassroots efforts added to the mix.

The budget was not disclosed. Etonic’s ad outlay has dwindled in recent years, with the company spending just $150,000 on paid media last year and about $100,000 so far in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.

An agency representative said spending would rise at least into the $1 million range in the next year. Crunch handles both creative and media chores for Etonic.

Following its 2003 acquisition by a private investment group, Waltham, Mass.-based Etonic has been trying to reassert itself in the marketplace.

A product-focused print campaign, via independent Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass., broke last spring using the “Evolve” theme. Crunch was selected to succeed A&G on the business a few months later; there was no review.

Formed five years ago, 12-person Crunch also currently works for clients such as Bostonian and Brockton Hospital.