Southern Company announces new national TV ad campaign

ATLANTA --Southern Company today announced a year-long national TV ad campaign, composed of four new 15-second commercials centering around the company’s role as the Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and as the largest generator of electricity in the country.

Three of the spots feature PGA TOUR players Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III in separate ads, and the fourth highlights a montage of golfers in action, including David Duval, Tom Lehman and Sergio Garcia. The ads will be unveiled nationally Saturday, March 25 on NBC during THE PLAYERS Championship. The ads will then appear on ABC, CBS and ESPN throughout the year during coverage of other golf tournaments.

“Our research shows that no other sport so effectively reaches our target audience of CEO’s, policymakers, financial analysts, wholesale and other large energy buyers than golf. Our corporate sports sponsorship has directly benefited the company’s comprehensive growth strategy by communicating our key messages to our intended audiences,” said Dave Altman, Southern Company vice president for corporate communication.

The campaign was developed and produced by Southern Company’s advertising agency, Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky (SS+K) of New York, and represents $5 million worth of media value. Each commercial is 15 seconds long and will be paired with one of the other three spots to create a variety of 30-second spots.

The TV commercials represent the second phase of Southern Company’s advertising campaign for 2000. In January, Southern Company introduced a series of business-focused print ads that target financial analysts, policymakers and large energy users. The ads are currently running in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and energy trade publications.

Southern Company began its sports marketing efforts in 1997 by sponsoring PGA TOUR member Billy Andrade and SENIOR PGA TOUR member Joe Inman, and will continue to do so through 2000. In 1998 the company co-sponsored THE TOUR Championship in Atlanta and was the sole sponsor of THE TOUR Championship in Houston last year. Southern Company will again be the sole sponsor this year when the tournament returns to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Southern Company’s headquarters. Since 1999, the company has been the “Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR.”

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company that operates more than 48,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity worldwide. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s largest independent power producers. Southern Company subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.

Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company has operations in 12 countries on five continents and has a growing presence in North America with assets in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Texas. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.