MCA, Atari Pushing Donnie Iris
Billboard - August 13, 1983
By Sam Sutherland

LOS ANGELES-MCA Records and Atari are teaming in a radio and retail promotion built around Donnie Iris' new MCA album and its key cut, "Do You Compute." A 20 market sweepstakes promotion, launched Monday (1), sees Iris and Atari's 800 home computer graphically married on both record/tape outlets and personal computer stores.

According to Sam Passamano Jr., MCA's director of marketing, "Before the album was even released, we already had the concept of tying in with a computer company to stage cross-merchandising on the album, 'Fortune 410,' because of that track. Atari welcomes the concept with open arms, and basically gave us carte blanche in setting it up."

Because that promotional partnership was secured prior to release, he adds, it was possible to use the Atari computer in poster photography sessions with the artist, as well as during production of the video clip for "Do You Compute," now in medium rotation on MTV. "It wound up being an integral part of the clip, since Donnie is seen using the computer in several key scenes, so Atari was very happy," Passamano reports.

In each of the target markets, a participating radio station will direct consumers to record/tape and home computer retailers displaying Iris merchandising materials and offering entry blanks for a sweepstakes drawing. Winners will receive an Atari 800 and a library of software. "We've limied it to one prize package per market, but the Atari dealers have jumped in with additional prizes, both hardware and software, and Atari has also backed us up by running their own spots," says Passamano.

The push will run for a minimum of two weeks in every market, although some cities will see the Iris/Atari push for up to four weeks. Passamano adds that radio stations in other markets have expressed interest in bringing the promotion into their areas, so MCA may pursue new campaigns once the first few weeks of the initial thrust have passed, affording an index to its effectiveness.