ENRON MAKES MOVE ON CALIFORNIA AS DEREGULATION LOOMS: POWER COMPANY WOOS CONSUMERS WITH DISCOUNTS

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Enron Corp. last week broke a $10 million-plus marketing campaign aimed at acquiring customers in California once that state's residential electric utility market is deregulated on Jan. 1.

The Houston-based utility began airing a 60-second TV spot on Oct. 22, from Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, Boston, and a spread ad from Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, was scheduled for the Oct. 26 Parade in state newspapers.

A :30 from Ammirati is in the final production stages, and radio and direct marketing from Bronner are planned.

DISCOUNTS AND FREE SERVICE

The campaign's crux is Enron's offer of two weeks of free electricity after one year of service and a 10% discount on the 1997 rate the customer is currently paying. The discount is guaranteed for two years.

Enron can begin signing up customers on Nov. 1 for a New Year's Day switchover.

The b&w commercial that broke last week uses Californians on the beach, hiking, at home, and on the soccer field-engaging them in a dialogue about energy. Voice-over asks, "Hey, California, where do you get your energy?"

Through a series of questions and answers, Enron reveals its savings plan and the ease of switching, along with a toll-free number. The tagline: "Low rates, free electricity and a commitment to clean energy."

Enron is one of the first large outside electric companies to begin a competitive campaign to build a customer base in California. The three largest electric utilities in California-Edison International, Enova Corp. and Pacific Gas & Electric-are already running campaigns to retain customers as well as gain new ones.

$50 MIL ON NATIONAL ADS

Enron also is running an estimated $50 million national branding campaign by Ogilvy & Mather, New York, that began last January. That multimedia campaign is designed as an introduction to the brand, an Enron spokesman said, adding that the California effort is the first of other forthcoming state campaigns to gain

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