Arnell Wins a Share of Sun Microsystems

LOS ANGELES Sun Microsystems is looking to its two new agencies, the Arnell Group and St. Luke’s, to refine its image and make it more relevant to today’s marketplace, the client said.

Arnell, an Omnicom Group shop in New York, and St. Luke’s in London were tapped to handle global image work after the Santa Clara, Calif.-based client decided to move away from a lead agency model and instead assign projects to several different agencies. Sun had contacted a handful of agencies and asked for ideas on positioning and the “ways in which they would bring those ideas to life in advertising,” said client vice president of brand marketing and advertising Scott Kraft. The other agencies that presented concepts were independents Wolfe/Doyle Advertising in San Francisco; Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif.; and DiMassimo Brand Advertising in New York.

The incumbent, WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco, will continue to handle projects for Sun, said Kraft. “They are working on some assignments now that may or may not continue-everything from bread-and-butter demand creation advertising to brand-type work,” he said.

Omnicom’s Wolff Olins in London also handles image consulting for Sun, said Kraft. Media remains with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom in Chicago.

“Arnell has a great track record for bringing big brand ideas to life,” said Kraft. “St. Luke’s is a proven creative and strategic shop,” he added, citing the shop’s work with British Telecom in the United Kingdom. “They’re so good at being able to embody the strategic direction in the creative and give it a wonderful story.”

Sun had $47 million in advertising expenditures in 2002, with $34 million of that total spent on consumer media and $13 million for business-to-business messages, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Consumer spending for the first six months of 2003 was $7 million. Business-to-business spending for 2003 was not available. Kraft said that the company would spend slightly more on ads in 2003 than last year, but declined to give specifics.

“What we need is to really give our strategy we’ve stuck to and remained true to for 21 years new relevance in today’s marketplace,” said Kraft. “We’ve always believed in one thing, and one thing only-by helping to connect everyone and everything to the network, and by bringing network computing power to all things, we will bring value to our customer and new inventions and new possibilities to the world.”

The first work from Arnell and St. Luke’s will break no earlier than December, said Kraft.

JWT began working with Sun in September 2000. The client reviewed the business last year and, after a competition that included Leagas Delaney in San Francisco and Fallon in Minneapolis, JWT retained the account and picked up additional duties in Europe and Asia [Adweek, Sept. 23, 2002].

JWT has approximately 50 employees in San Francisco, according to sources. Its other clients include Pacific Gas & Electric and Providian Financial.