Store This: Hill Snags Startup

After EMC Miscue, StorageNetworks Taps Shop as First AOR
BOSTON– Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has exacted a measure of revenge for its embarrassing ouster from EMC Corp.’s last review, adding the account of StorageNetworks, co-founded by former EMC executive Peter Bell.
StorageNetworks will likely spend $15 million on ads.
The Waltham, Mass., client retained Hill, Holliday to help it forge a brand identity and position its service-oriented model for data storage to potential customers, said Jean Manasian, senior vice president of the shop’s technology group.
The goal is to “create a new category: data services [for StorageNetworks] versus data technology providers [EMC],” she said.
Hill, Holliday, Boston, was selected following a review of undisclosed agencies based on its experience with building both high-tech and consumer brands, said client official Nicole Gorman.
Hill, Holliday has begun crafting recruitment efforts for the client using the theme “Can you handle it?” A large-scale branding push will break later this year. StorageNetworks manages customers’ computer files in some 50 data centers, unlike storage marketplace leader EMC which sells its products directly to corporations.
Analysts agree that StorageNetworks’ approach has merit, and the company recently filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Hill, Holliday competed in a review last year for EMC, Hopkington, Mass. Agency chairman Jack Connors apparently made a personal appeal to EMC chairman Richard Egan to restore the shop to contention after it was cut [Adweek, May 31]. The move alien-ated EMC marketing officials, precipitating Hill, Holliday’s dismissal. Hill, Holliday has denied that Connors made such an appeal. Adding to the potential rivalry, EMC ultimately chose Hill, Holliday competitor Arnold Communications, Boston.
EMC officials did not return calls for comment. K