Sun kicks off effort spotlighting impact

SANTA CLARA, CA: Sun Microsystems is launching its first global branding campaign in six years, focusing on how its technology enables companies and communities to share ideas and opportunities.

SANTA CLARA, CA: Sun Microsystems is launching its first global branding campaign in six years, focusing on how its technology enables companies and communities to share ideas and opportunities.

"We [will] talk about what we have done as a tech company over our 23 years," said Ingrid Van Den Hoogen, VP of brand and global communications.

"We create technology and then use that technology to create market opportunities. And the best way to do that is by sharing," she said. "Our technology allows people to connect and share."

Van Den Hoogen admitted that perceptions of Sun's brand are mixed. There are customers who love the company and those who have "strayed" from it.

She added that the campaign is also geared toward potential customers and software developers who are not as familiar with Sun.

The multifaceted effort kicked off Wednesday with an event featuring Sun president and COO Jonathan Schwartz and eBay COO Maynard Webb. The two discussed ways that Sun's technology made a community such as eBay's possible. Other customer examples included GM and Yahoo.

The campaign will roll out over 18 months and will ideally cement the company's brand promise for the next decade. It will focus on Sun's impact on different industries, from healthcare and telecommunications to automotive and mobile gaming.

Elements of the campaign will range from viral marketing to events, such as a conference at the United Nations set for today to discuss Sun's concept of the "Participation Age," with noted economists, sociologists, and others slated to speak.

Society is moving from an "Information Age," in which seemingly infinite information is instantly available, to a "Partici- pation Age," in which people share that information to collaborate and build and enhance markets, Van Den Hoogen said. She noted the popularity of blogs, podcasting, and instant messaging as ways that people share ideas and information.

Bite Communications and MWW Group ? which Sun selected as its new agencies last month ? will be involved in the campaign.

This is Sun's first global branding campaign since 1999's "We put the dot in dot-com" campaign, which quickly lost its luster during the dot-com bust.

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