CEI's copier-turned-robot headed for the Super Bowl

Posted by David Ranii on January 15, 2014 

CEI – The Digital Office, a Raleigh equipment company, hopes to make a splash with its latest TV commercial by airing it during the Super Bowl.

No, CEI isn’t spending a gazillion dollars like Budweiser and Doritos. Its 30-second spot, scheduled to run just before halftime, will appear only on Triangle station WRAZ (Fox 50).

“The reason for doing this,” said Blake Alford, president of the 60-employee business, “is that over 1 million people in the Triangle watch the Super Bowl, and more than half of them watch it for the commercials.”

CEI, which sells and leases commercial printers and copiers, has been running commercials for several years featuring a copier that morphs into a robot called “Raster.” Although the commercials produced by Raleigh’s Centerline Digital have been well-received, they’ve been so polished that some viewers assume that CEI is a national company, Alford said.

The new commercial intends to correct that misperception. The backdrop for Raster’s antics will be well-known local venues – Durham Bulls and Carolina Hurricanes games and the N.C. Symphony.

“We’re trying to create brand awareness that we are really a local company, and our roots are in the Triangle area,” Alford said.

Those roots date to 1957, when the company was known as Commercial Equipment Inc. of Durham.

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