MICRON PICKS PREGAME OVER BIG GAME: PC DIRECT SELLER BETTING FOX TIME A SMARTER, MORE COST-EFFECTIVE BUY

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Micron Electronics bought 11 slots on Fox's Super Bowl pre-game programming, betting it will get more mileage with an all-day package than it would have if it had bought a single spot during the Jan. 31 game.

Micron's entire package, which it expects to generate 52 million impressions, cost less than the $1.6 million price tag for 30 seconds on the telecast of the game.

"We think it's a smart buy, we think it's cost-effective," said Mike Rosenfelt, creative director at Micron, the No. 3 direct PC marketer.

Actually, the buy will cost Micron even less, because it's using Intel Corp. co-op money to help pay for the package.

SPOTS VARIATION ON NET ADS

Micron will air seven 30-second spots and two :60s. The commercials, featuring various desktop and notebook PCs, are variations of a commercial Micron created primarily for the Internet (AA, Dec. 21).

Bam!, Austin, Texas, created the ads; Martha Felt Group, Salt Lake City, handled the buy.

The Fox package also included spots that aired during the college football Cotton Bowl telecast and the National Football League's NFC wild-card game.

"We have a very deep relationship with Fox on a lot of levels, so it was logical that we would work with Fox at the Super Bowl," said Mr. Rosenfelt, noting that Fox News and Fox Sports are big buyers of Micron PCs.

Fox personalities Keith Olbermann and John Madden will be seen using Micron PCs on their pre-game shows, Mr. Rosenfelt said. Micron will be "Official PC" of "All Access," a show Mr. Olbermann is hosting, offering a behind-the-scenes look at Fox and the game.

Micron is one of several marketers, including Blockbuster Entertainment Group and Pizza Hut, that have secured packages in Fox's unprecedented 7-hour pregame broadcast (AA, Jan. 18).

Mr. Rosenfelt, who said Micron mulled a game spot before deciding on the pregame play, acknowledged a certain risk given that it's not clear how the all-day programming will go over with viewers.

"There's clearly some risk, and it's about employing `new tools,' " said Mr. Rosenfelt, playing off the brand's "New rules. New tools." ad slogan.

STADIUM DEAL, TOO

Micron also found another way to play the game: Micron and one of its customers, TopBox, have permanently installed more than 250 PCs in luxury boxes at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, site of the Super Bowl, giving guests in every box the chance to get on the Web, see closed-circuit telecasts and do videoconferencing.

TopBox, a multimedia developer and systems integrator, is working to install

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