Juniper Kills the Cartoons!

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- The regime change at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has claimed a victim. Juniper has retired its cartoons.

The shocking news was delivered bluntly, without warning, by new chief marketing officer Lauren Flaherty at Juniper's analyst conference today.

The audience responded with a smattering of spontaneous applause, followed by one "boo" that didn't seem very heartfelt.

Flaherty, who joined Juniper four weeks ago, introduced a new campaign, at least for Juniper's enterprise sales efforts. It will use the phrase "Demand more" and will target enterprise customers by trying to "reinforce the notion that you've got choice," she said.

But why? Why???

"Devices tire over time, so you have to keep them fresh, and companies mature," Flaherty said. "We need a marketing proposition that can grow with us." [Ed. note: This sounds like a different company than the one that used to sue anonymous message board users.]

The Far Side-inspired cartoons started in 2003 while Christine Heckart was vice president of marketing. At first, they were part of an ad campaign throwing pot shots at Cisco. (See FTTH Comms Picks ADC Gear.) Soon after, the cartoons became the face of Juniper, appearing on the Website and even on executive presentations. Industry reaction wasn't universally favorable. [Ed. note: Uh, yeah. We know how that feels.]

Heckart left Juniper in 2005 to join Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See VP Jumps From Juniper.)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) was too chicken to comment. Larry, Light Reading's mascot monkey, didn't seem to side with his cartoon brethren in their moment of crisis. "They were too subtle," he said, while spinning around in his Aeron chair and waving a pistol. "You can't keep anyone's attention by doodling about routers. Wheee-he-heeee! (Bang!)"

Juniper appears to have already removed the cartoons from its Web site. If you've somehow never encountered them, you can find samples around the Web, with helpful tips on averting disaster, booking UFO travel, or guarding a cave? Or something?

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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alldigitial 12/5/2012 | 4:10:42 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Ok so the cartoons may not have been to everyones taste but they did build brand for Juniper, im really struggling to remember any great marketing campaigns from Nortel over the last 10 years, anyone have any insight into why Lauren is going to do anything at all worthwhile for Juniper

Looks like Nortel has stopped funding its web team, http://www.nortel.com/corporat...
everythingip 12/5/2012 | 4:10:46 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! obviously you are a vendor, As a customer we try to sweat our assets as much as possible, if Cisco is willing to working with us to keep 4-6 yr old gear active in my network I have no problem putting them at the top of my list for new projects, Other vendors and I have a bunch of them in my network, tend to have short life cycles with no upgrade path that utilize existing customer investment i.e modules...as for a growth company, have you looked at the market lately..who cares, I just want to make sure that the company I buy from is still existing in a few years and is spending $$$ in R&D...Growth = Long term :-)

BaldEagle 12/5/2012 | 4:10:48 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons!
Jokers remain jokers even with changed outfit;
although switching from an image that portrayed
a comical make up sounds like a risky proposition, a clown in a suit may still
eke out a laugh at times...

That said, the value prop would remain the same
-- just the existence of a viable alternate vendor, albeit with inferior products (just joking), is a blessing for the customers.
As for anything above and beyond this, it
depends on the customer segment (and to
some extent, the market segments) of interest.

This just might be a good time to get rid of
cartoons. I commend Laura on the timing!
Scoring brownie points on her new job
by just killing cartoons -- impressive!
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 4:10:48 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Genius, perhaps you can explain CSCO's quarter and out look to me and how they can rationalize being a growth company. Oh, and why I should really care.

I just want to find value in your posting. Keep your CSCO gear and ready yourself to swap out for more as soon as CSCO can close you.
everythingip 12/5/2012 | 4:10:51 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! CSCO loosing its touch..hmmmmmmmmmm I need to start ripping out there gear and adding more J to my network..I love it when I get real world info from this list...actually I thought the cartoons were juvenile, my kids did like the mouse pads
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 4:10:52 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Ray, she will most likely Demand More, unfortunately Juniper has told Wall St they will cut expenses on sales and marketing so perhaps Lauren will create a new tag line. Demand more for less. Hm, not bad. Badda bing.
heretoday 12/5/2012 | 4:10:54 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Lauren will put her mark on JNPR quickly.....and that's not necessarily bad.... but if she even mentions the SALES INHIBITING application BIZSPHERE, just walk away. To current and former Nortelers... can I get an Amen!

NorthernRights 12/5/2012 | 4:10:55 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Lauren has only been at Juniper for four weeks not four months as was reported.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:10:55 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! Ohhhh - that makes more sense (to the extent that the image makes sense at all). Thanks stuartb.

When I first saw the cartoon, my mind assumed it was the surface of a pinball machine, and I spent several seconds trying to make that idea work. (Hint: it doesn't.)
digits 12/5/2012 | 4:10:55 PM
re: Juniper Kills the Cartoons! NorthernRights
Well spotted. This has been amended.

With the cartoons nixed so quickly, wonder what will happen in the next four weeks!?

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