MICRON SLATES $50 MIL AD DRIVE FOR REPOSITIONING: TAKES NEW SALES APPROACH, NAME

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Micron Electronics has abandoned traditional PC hardware sales for a subscription-based business and relaunched itself as Micronpc.com.

A six-month, $50 million ad effort that supports the repositioning broke last week. The TV commercials from Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, were directed by Terry Gilliam, whose film credits include "Monty Python & the Holy Grail," "Twelve Monkeys" and "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas."

FROM AGENCY TO AGENCY

Micron has labored under the stigma of being a third-tier direct PC marketer, pulling up behind Dell Computer Corp. and Gateway. In recent years, it has stumbled from agency to agency, changing shops three times in about two years.

In June 1998, it unveiled a brand initiative via Austin, Texas-based Bam designed to position it as the ally of small and medium-sized businesses. The "New rules. New tools" effort featured a red circle imprinted over slick, contemporary photos of entrepreneurs; its tone and message suggested that small upstarts can compete just as well as the big guns using Micron's hardware tools and support.

To tout its new name and revamped direct sales strategy, TV spots show a business that has lost control of its computer department. Former Dell shop Goldberg picked up the account last spring.

Radio, print and out-of-home advertising support TV spots.

"Labyrinth," the introductory commercial, shows an executive working late at night when his computer crashes.

ENDING THE NIGHTMARE

He goes screaming down to the computer room to find that the information systems manager is attached to his desk by cables and has a computer screen on his forehead, and his mouth is the slot for discs.

Voice-over promises Micronpc.com's Subscription Computing product will end the nightmare.

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