Sun Microsystems Beams Message at Business Managers

SAN FRANCISCO – Sun Microsystems Computer Corp. may finally begin to shine its message on a business audience.
Having built its reputation on powerful workstations for engineers, Sun is now attempting to position itself as a company that solves problems for management. In a $5-million ad campaign that broke last week Sun hopes to compete with the likes of IBM and Hewlett Packard and attract buyers looking for computer systems for their businesses.
It’s not the first time that Sun has turned its attention to the non-technical community. J. Walter Thompson/S.F. won the account with a similar strategy in 1989, but could never get the client to follow through and approve the work.
Anderson & Lembke, which took over the account in 1991, sought to accomplish the same goals as JWT, but had been hampered until now. Peter Mackey, managing director of A&L/S.F., said part of the problem is ‘they didn’t have the products.’
Sun’s niche has served it well – sales grew to $4.3 billion in the current fiscal year ending June 30, from $3.6 billion in fiscal 1992. But its best hopes for growth lie in the general business market as companies abandon expensive mainframes for the economy of powerful workstations.
Each Sun ad focuses on a single user and tells how the company has helped improve its business. In one, an elderly women with clenched fists is shown kicking a parking ticket on the streets of Chicago. The headline reads: ‘How a new type of computer put a stop to one of Chicago’s favorite sports.’ The copy goes on to tell how the city’s department recouped millions in fines with a Sun system.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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