Nortel breaks ad campaign taking aim at Cisco

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Nortel Networks last week introduced an ad campaign that shows how it can save companies in energy costs and energy consumption, taking direct aim at competitor Cisco Systems.

“This is the first foray for us, from a marketing point of view, into the energy-saving space,” said Lauren Flaherty, CMO of Nortel. “It is built around the incredibly pressing issue that we see from our customers around energy savings.”

The campaign promotes Nortel’s energy efficient calculator, a proprietary tool that calculates energy consumption used by data networks in organizations.

“The energy efficient calculator is a tool we developed to help customers really understand the ROI associated with energy issues they are all facing,” Flaherty said.

She said that toward the end of last year, Nortel’s sales team in the enterprise segment began to understand that customers didn’t really have a way of seeing the energy consumption of their data networks.

So Nortel designed a tool that calculates total cost of ownership of Nortel data networks, energy consumption and performance attributes. It also includes a comparison feature that shows performance data on competitive systems, including those of Cisco Systems.

“When compared to Cisco, we are able to offer a 50% reduction in total cost of ownership and 50% energy reduction,” Flaherty said.

Nortel has begun demonstrating the energy efficient calculator at trade shows, including making a big splash with it at the Interop show in Las Vegas earlier this month. One ad in the San Jose Mercury News (Cisco is based in San Jose, Calif.) reads, “Type this into your search engine: Cisco energy tax.” By doing so, users are directed to articles and blogs about the energy efficient calculator and the ad campaign itself.

Another ad, running in The Wall Street Journal, has a large headline that states: “Why 74% of data networks are costing you 100% too much.”

To promote the energy efficient calculator, Nortel issued a social media release, containing links to its Web site, podcasts, videos and blog posts.

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