IBM's Server Piñata: Where's My Stick? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

02:49 PM
Michael Singer
Michael Singer

IBM's Server Piñata: Where's My Stick?

IBM's marketing campaigns have come a long way since the '80s. Anyone here get a teary-eyed nostalgic feeling thinking about the old Charlie Chaplin series? No? Me neither.

IBM's marketing campaigns have come a long way since the '80s. Anyone here get a teary-eyed nostalgic feeling thinking about the old Charlie Chaplin series? No? Me neither.Fast forward to the frustrations of 2007. Big Blue's latest stunt is a series of homemade videos featuring a small cluster of IT guys seeking revenge on back-end servers that failed them in some way.

Middle of the desert. A hog-tied white box. Witty dialogue ensues.

"Hey, man. Remember that server crash that happened over Christmas?" "Yea..." "That's the one where you had to come in..." "Oh, is that the ONE?"

Cut to a shot where the server is slung over a tree branch and mercilessly smacked till it breaks open, revealing... candy.

Gee, Einstein, if your server had candy inside of it, no wonder it died on you.

IBM created four snippets for the series. And if you haven't guessed, IBM is trying to sell its System i servers. Other clips include rigging up a server with skateboard wheels and riding it like a luge down a hill. A third involves Diet Coke and Mentos with pretty lame results. Also, don't worry if you miss the guy dressed up like King Kong and tipping over servers made to look like downtown. It's passable.

Gratuitous violence and servers, though -- I like that. That's something I think everyone can relate to even if they have IBM hardware and software.

At least it is a bit more realistic than that eerie Linux commercial with the towheaded kid and Mohammed Ali.

Of course, my favorite IBM marketing stunt was its Peace, Love, Linux campaign. The company hired kids and street taggers to spray paint Tux and the two other icons on some city sidewalks. A feat, I might add, that cost them more money to clean up than to launch.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Study Proposes 5 Primary Traits of Innovation Leaders
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/8/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Flash Poll