Sybase Launches Campaign to Update Brand Identity

E-business technology firm Sybase joins others in its field with the launch of a global ad campaign, designed to boost interest in its system integration products — and convince the marketplace that it’s more than just a database company.

The “Everything Works Better When Everything Works Together” campaign, designed by agency of record GMO Hill-Holiday, will highlight the Emeryville, Calif.-based firm’s database and front-end integration tools as the key to building a successful e-business. Local ads were created for the European market by Fox Parrack Hirsch.

The campaign concept is that Sybase’s products can do more than provide databases — that they’re the “all-in-one” solution for setting up a feature-rich online business.

“The new campaign … seeks to redefine the Sybase brand in a new context,” said Sybase vice president of strategic marketing Paul Connolly. “If you went out and polled people in the market, but not terribly familiar with Sybase, they have us pigeonholed as a database company. We are … but we want to broaden the meaning behind the Sybase name and signify that we have our products that go beyond the database.”

Connolly pointed to the firm’s recently announced intent to acquire enterprise application integration firm New Era Networks, and the work of Sybase’s wireless subsidiary, iAnywhere.

“The purpose of the campaign is to evolve the brand to fit with way our product portfolio has evolved,” he said. “With this advertising campaign, we want people to walk away with the clear message that Sybase has capabilities that go well beyond the database. Sybase can provide an integrated platform for a company’s e-business strategy.”

Two television spots will air in New York to target potential customers in the financial services and telecom industries — two areas in which Sybase already has high penetration.

The spots, “Business Woman” and “Bike Messenger,” aim to demonstrate empathy with Sybase’s target audience — “a business decision maker responsible for allocating large sums of money for technology,” Connolly said. “The problem is, the diverse technology environment they have. They have multiple, different software packages — how do you make them work together?”

“The ads say that if you’re like this person who has a diverse tech environment, then we have a product that’s perfectly relevant for you,” he said.

The campaign also includes print creatives in U.S., European and Asian (English-language) business publications. The tagline is “Everything Works Better When Everything Works Together” — which reflects not only Sybase’s new focus on its integration products, but its open platform.

“It’s a very nice summary of what we do, in terms of integrating a diverse technological environment,” Connolly said. Additionally, “it goes toward our differentiation — we’re more open and flexible than the other players out there. We can accommodate a broader array of technologies, because of the open nature of our products.”

Spending was not disclosed for the work. The campaign currently is slated to run through the end of the year, with additional creatives being switched in to highlight new products, although Connolly said the company would probably extend it into 2002.

“As an idea, it has a lot of legs,” Connolly said. “It can accommodate lots of the products we want to talk about, and accommodates the way the industry is going … toward integration” of existing legacy systems, and away from splashy new purchases of proprietary systems.

It’s the second campaign in recent weeks for integration apps by major software providers. Last week, IBM rolled out a large-scale multimedia ad campaign to promote its four middleware products.

While Big Blue didn’t disclose the total spending on the work (by WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide) or the buy, it said costs for direct marketing, Web advertising and event sponsorships supporting the campaign topped $110 million.

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