Lucent christens spin-off Avaya

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Avaya (uh-VIE-uh) is the new name of Lucent Technologies' soon to be spun off Enterprise Networks Group. The name was created by Landor & Associates, San Francisco, and will be launched June 28 in a global campaign spanning 26 newspapers across 11 countries. The four-week print effort, the initial wave of an estimated $50 million ad campaign by FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, is designed to seed the new company with customers, investors and partners. Lucent expects to spin off Avaya, a communications hardware and software solutions company, by Sept. 30. Avaya will break a TV, online and broader print effort just before spin-off; that advertising will run for the rest of the year.

Avaya is what's known as an "empty vessel" and doesn't mean anything in particular. "It's a made-up word that gives us an opportunity through our behavior and our performance to define what it means," said Paul Myer, VP-marketing communications at Avaya. Mr. Myer said the name tested well, conjuring such associations as "open-minded," "spirited" and "agile." It suggested "ease and speed and energy . . . a seamless connection," he said.

Mr. Myer also said executives are in the process of looking for a chief marketing officer, who they hope will be installed before the spin-off. He did not have a shortlist of candidates.

The ads, breaking in the U.S. in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other leading dailies, feature a new red logo--Avaya Communication, with Avaya in all capital letters. There's no tagline in the ads, but Mr. Myer didn't rule it out for the next wave of advertising in the fall. The ads focus on the new name and "on the fact that we're coming from a successful IPO from five years ago . . . Lucent," Mr. Myer said, adding "we're focusing on establishing our identity and the transition from Lucent to Avaya."

Creative features a large headline touting that Avaya has almost 1 million customers in 90 countries, and it's just getting started. Text explains that Avaya is in the communications solutions business and capitalizes on a proud heritage from Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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