"I've always been a heavy consumer of media, having started by watching `Flash Gordon' and `Kukla, Fran & Ollie,' as well as avidly reading `Archie' and `Superman' comic books, and listening to the `Alan Freed' show," says Mr. Miceli, 49, VP-media services at Kraft Foods.
His career in media started at Young & Rubicam, New York, in 1970, where he learned the fundamentals of buying and planning. After a few years, he jumped to the client side, first for a position in media services at General Foods. In 1974, he joined Kraft.
Today, Mr. Miceli oversees Kraft's media planning and buying budget of about $800 million -- a budget Kraft executives say is slated to increase 11% in 1998.
Mr. Miceli's interest in new media led in many respects to the landmark agreement between Kraft and Tele-Communications Inc. earlier this year. The multimillion-dollar alliance was brokered by Kraft agency Grey Advertising, New York.
Under the agreement, Kraft this year begins micro-advertising efforts on TCI cable systems in about 25 leading markets, including Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle. Advertising will air over leading cable networks such as CNN, ESPN, Nickelodeon, TBS and TNT.
"TCI, as one of the two largest cable operators, was advancing digital technology and looking for a partner that could help them both understand what the consumer wants and also how to market digital technology," says Mr. Miceli. "We [at Kraft] see digital technology as the future, in that it will change the way we communicate with our consumers. What digital technology does is open up an opportunity to talk to the consumer in more relevant ways, in a one-on-one dialogue of communication."
"The nature of the Kraft/TCI [package] required a great deal of patience and progressive thinking, which Don and the people at Kraft possessed," says Jerry Machovina, exec VP-advertising sales at TCI.
"His forte is media," says Alec Gerster, chairman of Grey Advertising's MediaCom, New York, which worked closely with the Kraft team and Mr. Miceli to produce the TCI alliance. "A good client demands great service. A great client gets it. You want to give [Mr. Miceli] good stuff because he appreciates and he runs with it."
One low-cost way Mr. Miceli gets insight into new-media options: He watches how his teenagers multi-task and interact with both TV and the Internet.
"They don't seem to miss a beat," he says, and that idea may apply to his own understanding of media.