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Sun's Bold New Ad Campaign 426

Celeritas writes "Sun is making some noise over their latest x64server entries by doing a fly by over Dell's HQ yesterday. A few pictures were snapped to capture the event. Sun has continued the offensive by running some interesting ads as well as designing some that were rejected due to the controversial content or as Sun calls them 'bold ad concepts'"
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Sun's Bold New Ad Campaign

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:40PM (#13553581)
    ... for Dell Computer Corporation, anyway.

    McNealy is sure paying a lot of money to keep Michael's name in the big lights.
    • No kidding (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dsginter ( 104154 )
      The yutzes over at Sun's marketing team don't even know what their talking about. What's an "x64" server? Do they mean "64-bit" or have they shaved x86 down to size?
      • x64 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dink Paisy ( 823325 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:01AM (#13554035) Homepage
        x64 is Microsoft's vendor neutral name for x86-64/AMD64/IA32e/EM64T. Linux calls it x86-64, but since AMD officially deprecated that name, Sun goes by the Microsoft convention and says x64.

        Sun would probably say AMD64, since that is what they sell, except that they also want you to run Solaris on your non-Sun boxes, which may have 64 bit Intel x86 processors. They may also want to avoid burning bridges, in case Intel processors become more compelling in the future.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:05PM (#13553739)
      How are these ads for Dell? Look at the
      specs. The Suns cost 50% less,
      and use 66% less power. If anyone did
      any investigation (which is often the case when
      buying servers), then Sun gets the benefit of
      this ad. If, however, buying servers is merely
      about name recognition and "branding" then,
      yes, Dell benefits. But honestly, home
      users do not buy 1U devices. People who
      buy 1U devices look at price, performance,
      and power consumption. So, these adds help
    • by dcocos ( 128532 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:29PM (#13553876)
      The point that you are missing is that ( and this is a rule of marketing) is that the market leader never mentions the any competitors, but the rest of the companies ALWAYS mention the number one company so that potential consumers will equate their product with the market leader. Think about how often Pepsi mentions Coke in their ads but Coke NEVER mentions Pepsi. This is literally taken my from Marketing 101 class that I took oh so many years ago.
    • Actually one of Dell's exec's made a funny comment in a dev. meeting that someone in marketing just wasted the rest of [Dell's] quarterly ad budget on something that would only be seen by Dell employee's (and whoever happened to be on I-35).

      He apparently didn't see the Sun logo, which was very hard to see.

  • News at 11 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:41PM (#13553588)
    Dell followed up by sending a B-52 on a bomb run over Sun headquarters. Sun was not available for comment.
  • by HairyCanary ( 688865 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:42PM (#13553600)
    From the text of that ad, you'd think they had -just- now started selling AMD64 servers. I have several Sun AMD64 servers sitting in my server room, and have for quite a while now. Granted, they're just reference boxes -- but they do say Sun on them.
  • by Momoru ( 837801 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:43PM (#13553609) Homepage Journal
    Scott McNealy is officially insane.
  • by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:44PM (#13553611)
    Didn't Quark run a bunch of ads that maligned Adobe's product and basically made Quark come off like a bunch of insecure jerks?

    When you have to insult your competition, you insinuate that you are losing to them. Sun looks like they are losing to Dell, which they may very well be, I don't know. But this ad campaign cements that idea.
  • desperation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by weighn ( 578357 ) <weighn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:45PM (#13553623) Homepage
    the old "bold ad campaign" eh?

    I know jack about marketing, but this stinks of desperation.

  • Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elronxenu ( 117773 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:45PM (#13553626) Homepage
    Perhaps Sun could learn to promote their products on their own merits, rather than insulting a competitor.
    • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nametaken ( 610866 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:42PM (#13553947)
      But then it wouldn't have made, /., and thousands of other major sites.

      Whats the point of a mature ad campaign that nobody notices. An obnoxious one is almost always better. Just ask AFLAK.

      So that's my take. Can you hear me now?
      • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Informative)

        by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @07:10AM (#13555677)
        Whats the point of a mature ad campaign that nobody notices. An obnoxious one is almost always better.

        That would be a valid point if you were selling soft drinks to teenagers. Then, plublicity is everything. Instead, you are selling servers to people who spend a lot of money on computers. People like that are generally not particularly impressed by childish, insecure ads. While you are allowed to have brash, bold, ad campaings, the general rule in corporate "stuff" advertising is NEVER ADVERTISE YOUR COMPETITION. If you do, the target of the campaign might get the idea that you are tyring a Jedi Mind Trick on him, and figure out that maybe he/she should take a closer look at the company your ad is telling him to ignore.

        Ads that extol how great your stuff is are taken far more seriously than ads that say how much your competition sucks.

        You can come up with a witty, fun way to do this (IBM's ads come to mind), without resorting to childish insults. (Sun Example: "Their servers run on twice the power and are slow [or something like that]. No wonder their name rhymes with HELL.")

        Gimme a break... this is schoolyard recess crap. Most of us outgrew this in fourth grade.

    • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Interesting)

      by minion ( 162631 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @02:39AM (#13554736)
      Perhaps Sun could learn to promote their products on their own merits, rather than insulting a competitor.
      I think those ads speak very well of Sun's merits.
      A) Sun's servers use less power
      B)Sun's servers put off less heat
      C)Sun's servers are faster than Dell's.
      Really, one thing to consider here: Sun makes an OS, makes CPUs, makes chipsets.. And we're not talking just the fabrication. They have engineers designing this stuff... What has Dell ever developed? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They've developed nothing, except for a business model that takes other people's desgins and hard work, and mass produces them so each unit can make a $5 profit, and hope that they'll sell a million units.
      They are the leech of the industry, and with our patronage, future R&D is in grave trouble, because they give nothing back to the community.
      • Re:Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

        by popeyethesailor ( 325796 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @09:52AM (#13556679)
        They are the leech of the industry, and with our patronage, future R&D is in grave trouble, because they give nothing back to the community.

        Sorry, but this statement is total bullshit. Nothing back to the community ? Giving the customer a much better price-performance than everybody else means nothing?

        I agree with most of your comment, Sun's boxes are usually better engineered. However, innovation does not always have to be in the technical domain; there's as much innovation happening in other fields, including marketing. Would you say has done nothing interesting because they did not invent any of their products? If Dell's products are so poor, why does Sun feel the need to compare themselves with Dell?

  • Go to Dell (Score:3, Funny)

    by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:45PM (#13553628)
    Want a new computer?

    What don't you all just go to Dell!
    Easy as Hell! (whoops!)
  • First thought was from my good friend Mr. Travolta (not really, not legal mess please):

    "...'atsa bol' statement."

    i've always kinda liked Sun (grew up on 'em) and even when things seem dark, Sun and Co. come up with something that is pretty damn bold ... and deliver from time to time. Jonathan, at times, seems a little too quick to shoot that mouth off, but damn, sometimes they do come up with some rock solid stuff. At least they have some humor in their bold statements. Makes me wanna see if the balls m
    • Re:First thought (Score:3, Interesting)

      by anagama ( 611277 )
      I know that Sun antagonizes the linux world to some extent but even so, I respect the company. It has given me OpenOffice -- a suite I use almost daily (I don't work on weekends). Several years ago I bought a copy of StarOffice to show my appreciation -- but I've been using OpenOffice and all the upgrades since for a sum total of the 60-70 bucks I voluntarily spent on Star Office (can't recall the exact price anymore). In all honesty, I owe Sun a good amount of appreciation, and I hope they do kick some
  • by switcha ( 551514 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:49PM (#13553651)
    I know it doesn't give me any authority, as consumers are the real gauge of how effective an ad is, but holy crap, those are awful ads. First off, they do almost as much pitching for the competition as they do Sun. Second, .. well, they just plain suck. Word play and throwing in a useless mild swear word isn't a hallmark of "bold", just an unimaginative mind.

    I'm gonna go wash the taste of those out of my mouth now...

    • My favorite bad ad of all time was from Subway. Now, Subway has had some bad ads around, but this one was just wonderful.

      The ad was on the radio, and it was for some chipotle-chicken sub or something, and it had this little jingle that just went, "Chipotle! Chipotle! da da da, Chipotle!"

      The problem came in when I didn't realize that it was an ad for Subway. I thought it was an ad for Chipotle, [] not Subway.

      These aren't that bad by comparison.

    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:52PM (#13553985) Journal
      the ad doesn't suck... we are all sitting around slashdot talking about servers almost none of us were previously interested in but here we are talking about them, and looking up system specs on them. This ad will work quite well to stir up a buzz about Sun's servers.
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:49PM (#13553654)
    And they're not the first ones to try and embarrass Sun on Sun's turf. Galaxy-Class servers. Gene Roddenberry is rolling in his grave. Folks, this is a 1U, 2-64 CPU machine. Nice. But just wait a short while and multi-cores will blow this stuff away-- before the end of the year you can get four (then more) 64-bit cores in a 1U, and stuff it with enough RAM to make a real difference. Please watch the Tom and Dick Smothers-- oops I mean Scott and Jonathon-- Show for more details. And it's Schwartz playing bass.
  • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:50PM (#13553657) Homepage Journal
    -Not yellow box, but Sun love you long time.
    -Dell Sucks: Sun swallows. You owe us one. Buy our servers.
    -No, that's not IBM biting my ass. DELL SUCKS.
  • Daisolaris (Score:2, Funny)

    by Galaga88 ( 148206 )
    Sun Microsystems is about to make you its bitch!

    (Because we know how well *that* campaign is remembered.)
  • wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tsiangkun ( 746511 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:58PM (#13553691) Homepage
    20 comments, and the images are still available. I guess the new servers are ass-kickin machines.
  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:59PM (#13553701)
    "Scott McNealy is going to make Dell his bitch"

    Worked well for John Romero, I'm sure it would work great for Sun.
    I'm just surprised they didn't call the server line "Xtreeeme64".
  • by mtrisk ( 770081 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:02PM (#13553725) Journal
    That porno-mag style interview with the SunFire server near the fire place is very interesting - more proof that porn and technology go hand in hand. What kind of website would reliable, beefy server hardware be more suited to than a pr0n operation?
  • It does nothing for the consumer (because you'd assume Dell employees would have Dell servers)...and even if a consumer caught a glimpse of it, all I saw at first was a huge black and bold "DELL".
    • It's not a marketing move targetted at consumers directly.

      It's indirectly targeted at us.

      Sun doesn't want people to see the flyover so much as post pics of the flyover on Slashdot. Think about it. This is the first Sun related thread in sometime where Linux is rarely mentioned.

      Sun hopes that some of us making buying decisions on server hardware and software at our businesses, and that this will but Sun back in our heads
  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:08PM (#13553755) Homepage Journal
    Dell, the name Osama Bin Laden swears by.

    When you buy Dell, it makes the baby Jesus cry. You don't want to make the baby Jesus cry, do you?

    Hey Dell, we just fucked your girlfriend.

  • I always buy my computer equpipment based on flyovers. Whoever does the best job of buzzing the other guy gets my business.

    This the way that I figure it. Everyone knows that kids are good at computers. And everyone knows that geeks lack social skills. Heck, I'm a geek and I lack them.

    So it follows that a company that comes off like a bunch of adolescent jerks would have really good stuff.

    All sarcasm aside, I haven't had a sun server in a long time, but my old sparc 5 boxes were really great. Extremely
  • Reinds me of the story of an aged heavyweight boxer hurling insults at the new kid in town rather than retiring gracefully. Has all the 'dot in dot-com' peer of microsoft and the top tier, now dealing with the likes of Dell (commodity vendors). Whats next, Sun v/s WalMart brand PCs or would it be Sun v/s some small time software vendor
  • Does anyone have anymore information on this specific Sun x4100 (And I assume other models) feature?

    Features include full remote KVM functionality with video and media redirection. System administrators can access the service processor via the dedicated management Ethernet port.

    I'll tell you what, for $150 (Service processor), and for the total price of these servers. I'm very tempted to grab a few of these and try them out - if Sun can get the message out, these prices are unbelievable from Sun, I thi
    • These are similiar to what sun has always had - LOM/ALOM (Lights out mangement or Advanced LOM).
      Bascically it's a separate unit that is inside the server that runs it's own os (In this case it's linux) that has it's own IP. It lets you do things like poweroff, poweron and reset the host box.
      You can also do something like "attach terminal" and if you have solaris/linux it will give you a tty (as long as you enabled serial redirection in linux) login to the box so you can see your kernel panic or install your
  • I'm pricing 2U & 3U rack-mount servers to run Linux.

    My desired system is a dual 27x Opteron with 4-6 hot-swap SATA drive bays. What's with all the SCSI out there? There doesn't seem to be any brand-name dual-CPU rack servers out there which have a SATA option.

    Yes, I know SCSI is much faster, has a fraction of the CPU overhead that PATA has, and has been hot-swap capable since probably before I learnt how to read.

    Perhaps I'm trying to stretch my budget too thin, but the best I can do is build my own from
  • Benchmark studies prove that Dell sucks

    Shit, I'm sold.

    But seriously, I love Sun hardware. That thing takes a beating and keeps on ticking. The old e220r and e240r have never given me trouble (*knock on wood*)

    But Dells are really cheap. I was told (candidly) by an IBM vendor that they just can't compete with Dell in the inexpensive server market. And I suppose that neither can Sun.

    I have plenty of Dell servers also, and I've never had a major problem with them. The 24 hours support contract gets you rep
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:00AM (#13554031) Homepage
    was when they announced the Ultra's. Once again, Sun made a remarkable turn around, and climbed to heights previously unseen. It was the third time Sun had returned from near death. Maybe this will be the forth. Sun has consistently built some of the best platforms out there, time to shed another skin and do it again.

    Do some research, over time Sun has done more for Open Source than any other company.
  • The facts are simple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu_fusion ( 705735 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:04AM (#13554050)
    Sun has a winning hand here. It is that simple.

    The AMD64 platform is a better platform than Intel's at the moment, in every way. And on top of that, Sun has a hell of a lot more experience in building bulletproof hardware. When you factor in Solaris & a lower price tag ... you can see why Sun has no problem mentioning Dell in the ads.

    You can spin this whatever way you want, but I'm looking forward to seeing Sun trash the company that brought us the "Dell dude". Dell can go back to selling their overpriced PCs at Christmas, and the people who actually run the important servers in the world, doing billion dollar transactions, have a clear path to keep the Windows/Dell bozos out of the server room in the basement of the bank.
  • They seem to have a bigger problem: The only sales point they're making is that they use less electricity than the competition. Since when has that meant anything to institutional (or home) purchasers?
    • by JoeBuck ( 7947 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:48AM (#13554247) Homepage
      Servers aren't for home purchasers (except maybe for us geeks). Power is critical to any institution that wants to put a lot of servers in the same room; power consumption is the critical limitation for how much CPU power you can get in one room. The limit is not how much current you can get into the room, but whether you can have enough AC to keep everything from frying. A server farm with several hundred dual-core processors puts out a lot of heat.

      The competition has given Sun an opening, by sticking with Intel even in an area where AMD has better technology (though Intel will probably catch up in a year or two). Ordinarily I'd laugh at Sun for saying "we're number 6". But if they can partner with AMD well, and AMD can deliver in volume, Sun may survive, they might even do well.

      But the people I know are only going to be interested in buying those boxes if they run Linux. To be specific, Red Hat Enterprise, since that's pretty much the standard for electronic design automation these days at least in the US. That's why Sun is suddenly making nice to Red Hat.

    • Cost is still cost no matter where it comes from. And telling the VP that you save them so much a year always gets you brownie points no matter where that savings goes. It doesn't even matter if what you did to save them money actually sucks vs what you did before. As long as they hear a lot of the good and don't noice the bad you are golden.

      At anyrate here are some reason why lower power is becoming more and more important. First all large datacenters costs tons to cool. You are talking huge air conditioni
  • by bighoov ( 605325 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:12AM (#13554082) Homepage
    Michael Dell: I'm trying to make computers for kids to take to college.

    Scott McNealy: Your mom goes to college.
  • SUN is back. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dangero ( 870946 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @02:44AM (#13554772)
    I used to work at SUN and I was personally at the meetings when they were announcing and planning their takeover of the x86 server market. They have been strategically planning and designing for this for more than two years now. The thing that SUN was finding as they made their designs and tested them is that they were finding flaws in the Intel/AMD ref designs, and when they went and told them, those companies were saying, "Wow, nobody ever noticed that before." SUN knows how to make a stable server, and their designs are WORLD CLASS. Bottom line. Looks like SUN is poised to become a great name in computing again.
  • by hritcu ( 871613 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @03:03AM (#13554866) Homepage []

    Trade in any qualified Dell server and get a 20% trade-up allowance off the list price on eligible new Sun Fire X4100 and X4200 servers with 3-year support services. That's a potential savings of up to $1,900 on new entry level Sun servers that have 1.5 times the performance of Xeon-based Dell servers.* Sun Fire X4100 and X4200 servers also offer up to 56% savings in power and cooling costs per year over comparable Dell servers.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas