The iconic Commodore computer brand is about to relaunch, with Barry Altman, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., entrepreneur behind the effort, selecting Korey Kay & Partners for advertising chores after a review.
Altman said he would put $30 million behind the marketing initiative, most of which will be spent on national television. The work breaks in advance of the holiday retailing season.
The new Commodore USA’s products include a modern reboot of Commodore’s once highly popular C64 model, the former high-end Amiga brand and its AIO (All-in-One) computers in a keyboard.
Last month, Altman, a veteran of the electronics and satellite space communications industry who now runs a company that makes bath and vanity units, said he has reached an agreement to globally license the Commodore brand from a Dutch unit of Asiarim Corp. The original Commodore helped launch the personal computer business in the 1980s. Its line included the C64 desktop computer, which debuted in 1982 and sold more than 30 million units.
Commodore declared bankruptcy in 1994.
Altman is undeterred by the previous efforts of others to revive Commodore, saying those who have tried before him “didn’t have the right formula or product at the right time.”
But he knows he has his work cut out.
“We’re not a P&G or GM so it’s going to take a lot of effort to get back into the public mind-set a product that was among the most popular in history,” said Altman, who is president, CEO of the new incarnation of Commodore. “I’m pushing 60 and people in that age group know the C64 very well, but there’s a whole other generation that has never heard of it. We have to get this brand back on its feet quickly.”