IBM Launches Middleware Ad Campaign

IBM is promoting several of its middleware offerings at the same time, using one large-scale integrated marketing and advertising effort.

The campaign, which launched this week with teaser ads, is part of a global effort to position IBM’s software as a critical building block of e-business infrastructure — in the face of competition from both well-known names like Microsoft and open source solutions.

The ads, developed by WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, are the first to promote Armonk, New York-based IBM’s four middleware products — DB2, Lotus, Tivoli and WebSphere — within the same campaign.

Aimed at business executives and IT professionals, the “Codernauts” campaign centers around the misadventures of two spacesuit-clad aliens from a parallel universe — where software programs are proprietary and difficult to integrate.

Television ads, which launch next week, feature voiceovers by actor Avery Brooks, of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” fame.

The media buy includes broadcast television, print, Web, outdoor and out-of-home placements, in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Britain, Japan and Australia. IBM did not disclose the amount of the spend.

Additionally, the company will support the campaign, which runs throughout the year, with $110 million in direct marketing, Web marketing, and sponsorships at business shows and other events.

“This campaign uses the strength of IBM’s entire software portfolio to show our full range of open middleware that can run on multiple platforms and systems, a growing demand by e-businesses today,” said Lou D’Ambrosio, vice president of worldwide marketing for IBM Software. “It underscores the value of IBM’s individual middleware offerings, while uniting them with a common look and feel that reflects the integrated solutions IBM offers to help companies build e-infrastructure.”

The new ads are part of IBM’s worldwide e-business infrastructure campaign, which the technology giant launched in December. The creatives use the stylized IBM e-business “e” logo and software tagline — “It’s a different kind of world. You need a different kind of software.”

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