Sony Hits ‘search’ For $20 Mil. Launch Project

5 Agencies Contend for New Computer Data Storage Device
NEW YORK – Sony Electronics is conducting a review to find an agency to handle the $20 million fall launch of HiFD, a computer data storage product sources said.
John Heenan, director of advertising for the Park Ridge, N.J., company, confirmed that two of Sony’s roster agencies – Winkler Advertising, San Francisco; and The Harrington Group, Morristown, N.J. – are contending for a brand sources said was HiFD. Also pitching, sources said, are Sony’s lead shop, Lowe & Partners/SMS in New York, with the assistance of The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Suissa Miller Advertising in Los Angeles. Agency executives did not return calls by press time.
Martin and Suissa are the only nonroster agencies in the pitch. Harrington currently handles packaging and collateral tasks for HiFD.
HiFD is a computer disk compatible with a regular floppy disk drive. It has a storage capacity of 200 megabytes; regular disks can store only 1.4 MB.
The portable data storage market is led by Iomega’s Zip disk, which has a 100 MB capacity and has to be used in a special drive. Imation’s SuperDisk has similar features to the HiFD but carries only 120 MB.
Sony wants to target its new product at consumers, information systems managers and computer manufacturers, Heenan said.
The product has been developed jointly by two of Sony’s divisions: the Computer Components and Peripherals Group in San Jose, Calif.
(handled by Winkler); and the Recording Media and Energy Group in Oradell, N.J. (handled by Harrington). CCPG develops computer hardware products; RMEG develops floppy disks, software, batteries, recording equipment and computer peripherals.
“We’re looking at this as a project only,” Heenan said. “The current incumbents will continue to support their respective divisions.” The project includes all creative and media responsibilities. Heenan, who is heading the review, said he expects an agency to be selected by the end of the month.