Sun pushes Java brand harder--but uphill

Sun is hoping that a 30 minute TV show will help boost the recognition of Java. The name of the show is "Mobile Entertainment World", and it will be a 30 minute program that is scheduled to come out later this year. The show will be a 13-episode TV series that will air in Europe first. No plans have been announced yet if it will air in the US.

It may not rise to the popularity of "Antiques Roadshow," but Sun Microsystems is betting a new TV show will help boost recognition of its Java software.

The 30-minute program, called "Mobile Entertainment World," will be sponsored by Sun and perhaps by phone service sellers, said Ingrid Van den Hoogen, Sun's new vice president of brand experience and community marketing. It's one of several efforts the Santa Clara, Calif.-based server maker has undertaken as part of a multimillion-dollar program to make average people aware of the Java brand.

Sun has finished the pilot for the 13-episode TV series, which is geared chiefly for European audiences that are more prone to gadget envy after seeing segments on games and cutting-edge Japanese consumers, Van den Hoogen said at the recent JavaOne trade show. But Sun still has a long way to go before it gets the average Joe to know what Java's steaming coffee cup logo represents. Probably a lot of people would say they recognize the Java name, but a "really low percentage" understand what it does, said Greg Sieck, an associate partner at Profit, a San Francisco-based branding company. Getting consumers to understand the "functional benefit of a Java-enabled device--that's going to be a real tough slog," he said.

News source: C|Net News.com

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