By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CompUSA's recently named president/CEO Ross Roman has overhauled CompUSA's marketing and advertising teams on the eve of the holiday selling season.
Leading the renewed marketing thrust is former merchandising VP Ellen Miller, who returned to the company as chief marketing officer after an absence of 12 years. Miller, who went on to found the Insider Marketing and Insider Creative technology consultancies, succeeds Phil Jacobs, who had held that post as a member of the management teams of former CEOs Larry Mondry and Tony Weiss.
Miller's Insider Marketing group will also play a key role in developing and executing a new integrated marketing strategy for CompUSA over the next 12 months that Miller described as aggressive.
“CompUSA has a rich history as the original computer superstore and today is a leader in providing consumer products, small business offerings and exceptional technology support services,” Ross said in a statement. “As we take our offerings to the next level, we believe Ellen's deep roots with CompUSA coupled with the marketing expertise of her organization, Insider Marketing, provide the company with a unique opportunity to serve and grow our customer base.”
In one of her first moves in her new role, Miller has revived CompUSA's “PC Modem and Bob” radio advertising campaign, which originally aired in the early 1990s. The updated version will feature a new female character, technology expert Meg Pixels, who replaces the original PC Modem character and plays off of Bob's outlandish humor. The company has brought on a new ad agency, Schroepfer, Wessels, Jolesch (SWJ), to update and execute the new campaign.
“As we researched and explored options, we found there is still tremendous equity in the 'PC Modem and Bob' campaign,” said SWJ partner Jerry Wessels. “As a result we contemporized it for today's shopper. We believe the ads will appeal to today's consumers and provide technology information in a fun format.”
In a prepared statement, industry analyst Stephen Baker of the NPD Group gave thumbs up to the retailer's new marketing moves. “CompUSA has chosen successful teams with proven track records to implement its new marketing initiatives. Ellen Miller and her Insider team is a creative force in the industry and the return of the popular radio personality 'Bob' should help CompUSA continue its leadership role and help position the company to grow its customers.”
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