The Online Half of Sun’s $50M Branding Campaign

Sun Microsystems has dedicated approximately half of its $50 million brand-repositioning campaign budget to online vehicles. This week, the company kicked off the online elements of this “Sharing” campaign effort with takeover ads on,, and MarketWatch, among other sites.

The media plan is aimed at driving traffic back to landing pages as well as to raise awareness about Sun among a new audience, business decision makers. Sun had previously focused on advertising in technology trade publications rather than general-interest business vehicles.

“Technology is having a profound effect on that business side, so we are coming out to that audience,” Rhodes Klement, Sun’s senior director of global brand and advertising, told ClickZ News. “The Web is an important business contributor, so you see the CEO, the CFO, etc. all involved in [technology] business decisions. So we think it’s important that all of them understand Sun’s philosophy and what we believe in the marketplace.”

On the site itself, the company has built a sharing-themed landing page that can be accessed through several URLs, including and It also developed three multimedia showcases. In one video, eBay COO, Maynard Webb, and Sun CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, discuss sharing and participation. Another depicts Sun’s efforts to bring a mobile computer lab to Argentina. The third will be a live audiocast discussion on the digital divide, whihch will be held June 6 at United Nations headquarters.

Online media will initially be aimed at driving overall awareness. Later flights will be employed to drive participation in Sun-hosted multimedia events.

The kick-off featured takeovers of the CNET Enterprise section, the homepage,,’s business page, the technology page, the Yahoo Finance technology industry section and’s technology page. Sun is employing “surround sessions” on, and video advertising on and Ads also appeared on the technology channel.

Creative featured Flash ads with text like “see how a single idea allows millions to virtually ignore geography and distance” and “see how simple idea helps millions of young gamers learn to fly.”

Sun plans to follow-up its successful RSS advertising buy on Feedster with more such purchases, likely intended to send traffic to online events.

“[In the previous Feedster campaign] one-third of the clicks to the site from paid media came from RSS, and they cost roughly one-third of the cost per click [of other vehicles],” said Klement. “I think we will do more and more targeted things like this. It depends on the goal.”

The company will also employ its 4 million-strong email list to send traffic to sharing-themed events on the site.

The “share campaign” is set to continue for the next 18 months.

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