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Recharging a Texas Utility

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TXU Is Christened, Positioned in Publicis TV, Print
DALLAS-Publicis here is trumpeting the new name and brand image of the former Texas Utilities in a broadcast and print advertising push statewide.
A 60-second television commercial launched Sunday repositions the company, now known as TXU, matching the NYSE stock symbol and encapsulating its reach (thanks to deregulation) into electricity, gas and communications. Texas Utilities operated the T.U. Electric and Lone Star Gas units, which are expected to also be renamed under the TXU banner.
The ad shows fast-cut, special effects-laden images of energy and telecommunications in use, sometimes in unusual applications. In one shot, a man is photocopying his nose. "Go, world. Go." is the tagline.
The advertising budget was undisclosed, but industry observers estimated the range to be $5-10 million. T.U. Electric spent $1.8 million in major media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Publicis co-chairman Steve Price said deregulation in the energy industry has led to a spate of corporate messages about reliability and dependability, so the shop sought to give TXU a more personal touch with a visually enticing grab bag of eye candy.
"The name change is just a small part of it," said Price. "We wanted to put more of a human face on the brand . . . People don't think of kilowatts and BTUs. What they do think is what they can do with [energy]."
The spot broke Sunday, just two days after TXU informed shareholders of its name change. "This is a crucial time to define TXU's brand image and enhance our relationships with our customers," said client official Susan Atteridge.
A print component breaks this week in national publications and major Texas daily and weekly newspapers. ƒ