Choosing Substance Over Sexy in Advertising

( Concept I )Inside Every SuperServer is a Super Story

( Concept II ) We Power...

( Final Campaign ) Application-Optimized Server Solutions


The CEO wanted to turn the corner on the company brand. To do so he came up with Supermicro 3.0–An internal reference to reflect that the company’s maturity yet still reminiscent of fresh, new and improved.

To compliment this refresh I embarked on a journey interviewing employees, customers and partners, to not only see what Supermicro 3.0 meant to them, but what the true core value of the company was.


After weeks of interviews, evaluations and analysis we tried to come up with a warm and fuzzy campaign showcasing the many ways Supermicro touched the lives of regular people. We even tested portions of the concept in our Superbowl Ads. However, that did not seem to fit the tone of management who preferred to lead with innovation. We even tried clever statements depicting us as the Power behind vertical markets however, we found that to be too narrow of a message.

So after further consideration and days of circling back we concluded that the core value to our customers and the reason customers chose Supermicro over our competitors was the company’s ability to specifically optimize product performance providing the best performance-per-watt, per dollar and/or per sq. ft. for each and every application. This was the differentiating factor for the company moving forward. As a result, the campaign became Application-Optimized Server Solutions. It wasn’t new, fresh or exciting. However, it was the first time that the value of the company had been concisely communicated that was in line with how we opened up dialogue with customers as well as closed the deal.


For the very first time we had received feedback that we finally got it right. That, along with a more comprehensive click-through plan in web banner advertising, we improved online ad clickthroughs and reduced bounce backs more than 30%.

Application Optimized Server Solutions. It’s not sexy but it has pertinent substance that drives the bottom line.

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