IBM Cross-Platform Cloud Campaign Takes On Amazon Services

IBM launched an aggressive advertising campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather that takes on Amazon Cloud Services. The multichannel campaign running across print, out-of-home and digital began this week and goes through the end of the year.

The campaign's messages range from "IBM Debuts Cloud Ads: Whose cloud powers 270,000 more websites than Amazon?" to "IBM Cloud hosts 30% more top websites than anyone in the world."

It's a move by Big Blue to grab part of the estimated multibillion-a-year cloud-computing market, not only from Amazon, but Google and Microsoft. Some peg the cloud market just for IT at more than $19 billion in the next two years, while others put it in the $30 billion to $40 billion range.

IBM rarely directly takes on competitors, but cloud services recently became one of several growth drivers for the company. The cloud group now supports more than 100 software-as-a-service applications, many of which came from acquisitions.

Mark Deitz, IBM director of SmartCloud Solutions, declined to estimate the cost of the campaign, but said it's a "significant percentage of our overall advertising approach this year." Social, mobile, cloud and analytics will become a focus in 2014.

Deitz said the company isn't running Twitter ads at this time, but the overall digital response on social sites has been significant. IBM has seen a 95% increase in Twitter mentions just since Tuesday, and an increase in free downloads for SoftLayer, IBM's foundation for its cloud services.

Readers will see ads during the next few weeks in the Washington Post and other print dailies, along with magazines such as BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Fortune. They will also run outdoors on buses and trucks in San Francisco, San Jose, Las Vegas, and on Web publishers,, and others.

Of IBM's $1 billion third-quarter 2013 cloud revenue, about $460 million was cloud services and hardware, software and IT services contributed to the remainder.

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