Changing the Channel: Networking VAR news

Jul 23 2010   2:15PM GMT

Juniper channel video redefines weird

ElaineHom Elaine Hom Profile: ElaineHom

Juniper has taken “weird” to a whole new level.  In a recent video posted on their YouTube channel, Steve Pataky and Ranjeev Gupta from Global Channels at Juniper decide to do a brief discussion about the program… while taking their clothes off and getting into drag.  You can’t make this stuff up.

 [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

What kind of marketing is this?  Granted, people will talk about it.  And I sent this link to every channel-related friend I could think of, so I guess it’s sort of gone “viral.”  But at the same time, I watched that entire video, and I don’t remember a single thing that was said about the channel program.  All I can remember are the attempts to put on high heels and Rajeev’s horrendous wig.  Shouldn’t the joke of the video not take away from the actual message? 

Editor’s note: I discovered on 7/29/2010 that Juniper took the video down. I am not sure if they wised up and realized how foolish it was, but regardless, now Juniper is showing that they really don’t have a sense of humor. Instead of owning up to the mistake, the company is backpedaling. For those of you who didn’t get to see it, it was two channel execs describing the channel program while stripping down and getting into women’s clothing.

This also could be read as offensive.  At no point does Juniper explain why these guys are getting into drag.  Is this Juniper’s way of saying they’re friendly with the transgender community?  Are they mocking the transgender community (probably not, but it might be construed as such)?  Is this an homage to the Rocky Horror Picture Show? 

Here are a few comments from friends involved in all aspects of the channel and IT at different companies, including writers, editors and marketers (so arguably, the targeted audience of this video), all culled while watching the video:

  • “What the…”
  • “Why are they taking their clothes off?!”
  • “I have that top in yellow!”
  • “Jokes are fine and well, but if it takes away from us knowing what you said, what’s the point?”
  • (In response to me asking, “did you actually hear anything that was said?”) “Something about channel and selling and Jupiter.”

Plus a few more that are too colorful to put in print.  So it’s really not just me!  Everyone who has seen this has had the same reaction — no memory of the actual important content of the video, but a solid memory of Rajeev putting on makeup in the background.  Perhaps this is what Juniper intended — for no one to actually hear what was said, just to make people laugh. 

Maybe this was a video that was meant to be shown at a conference as a joke, and somehow made its way onto YouTube without the context of an event.  If so… then it was probably a misstep to put it out there without any context at all.  If this is Juniper’s way of showing that they have a sense of humor, the marketing people may want to tweak the strategy so that they’re doing it without possibly alienating a community and its supporters.

In conclusion, if I’m going to watch a bizarre movie featuring men in drag, I would rather watch this:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

What are your thoughts on the video?  Do you know something about this video, or have context for it that viewers (and I) should know?  Email me at  I’ll be doing the Time Warp in my cubicle the rest of the afternoon.

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