'Why Not?' Is New Tagline

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NEW YORK ( -- Sun Microsystems today kicked off a global brand campaign as the Silicon Valley stalwart attempts to convince corporate technology buyers that it is more than just a provider of high-end servers.

The campaign, which broke today in Dow Jones & Co.'s The Wall Street Journal, also unveiled a new tagline, " Not?" The marketer's previous tagline was "We make the network."

Ad spending not known
Spending on the push, developed by WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco, is not known. Sun has already spent $23 million in measured media in the U.S. during the first seven months of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Grey Global Group's Beyond Interactive and Grey Direct, both San Francisco, are responsible for interactive and direct marketing.

Sun and agency executives

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declined to comment on the campaign.

In its launch phase, the effort includes at least a dozen print ads in newspapers, business weeklies and monthlies. Numerous print executions will roll out this year and into 2003 in a variety of formats, including multi-page inserts and spreads, designed to communicate exactly what Sun can do. Customer testimonial-style ads are likely. No TV spots are planned this year.

The 'WSJ' ads
Three ads appeared in today's Journal. In one, a spare copy line appears against an all yellow background with a question mark and the text "Why not get state-of-the-art technology at state-of-the-economy prices?" The other ads are in the same treatment and feature cost-saving messages such as "Why not use next year's desktop licensing fees for this year's salaries?" and "Why not make computers manage their own complexity?" The ads direct corporate tech buyers to the Web site

Sun, stung by the economic downturn along with the rest of the tech sector, wants to flog corporate technology buyers and other executives with the message that it is a clear alternative to its heavy-hitting competition, which includes Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

Variety of services and products
Apart from high-end servers, Sun offers smaller servers powered by Intel Corp. chips, integration and consulting services, storage products and an array of Java-based software products.

"They [Sun] have to communicate what they do ... and how they are redefining the category," one agency executive said of the rebranding.

Agency shootout
JWT, which nearly lost the Sun account this year, put a new creative team into place in April. Embattled Sun orchestrated an agency bake off between JWT, Leagas Delaney and Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis. JWT ultimately won a second chance after a final shootout with Fallon.

Scott Kraft, VP-brand marketing at Sun, told recently that the new campaign would emphasize "greater value, greater innovation and greater choice."

Sun spent $37.4 million in 2001 and $49.6 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2000, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

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