New SGI Marketing Campaign Boldly Goes Where We Have Gone Before

Boeing 777 AdAt SC15 (Supercomputing 2015) in Austin, SGI is launching a new “THIS is supercomputing” marketing campaign. It features ads and other promotional materials across various media that celebrate the end results our customers achieve in various fields—from genetic research to climate simulations.

The creative execution of the campaign pays homage to an award-winning “See What’s Possible” ad campaign that SGI ran in major media during the mid-90s. One of the most popular ads in the series featured a nose-on view of a Boeing 777 jetliner with a Silicon Graphics Indigo2 workstation sitting on the tarmac in front of the plane’s front wheels. The headline and subhead read: “THIS IS THE NEW BOEING 777. And this is the box it came in.” The 777 airplane was the first 100% digitally designed airplane, and that small box from Silicon Graphics ran 3D simulations that helped engineers and scientists quickly put together millions of pieces and parts.

Our new campaign goes back to the future to play on this series. For example, one ad features an image of a producing oil field with an inset photo of an SGI ICE X supercomputer, and the headline reads: “THIS is buried treasure. THIS is the box it comes in.” The body copy pays off the headline message with a reference to our customer Total, “Deep expertise in supercomputing helps the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas company find valuable deposits hidden deep beneath the Earth’s surface. We are SGI.”

Currently, a total of four concepts in the new series include: The stealth bomber and our installation of the DOD’s Spirit supercomputer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base; genetic research with reference to researchers in the UK, such as TGAC (The Earlham Institute), using SGI to crack the code of the bread wheat genome; and a weather concept that describes how SGI dramatically slashes the time needed for NASA researchers to run climate change simulations.

This campaign is a reconnection to a time when SGI was known for its bold advertising. We felt this modern-day twist of a former marketing campaign of old is both nostalgic and representative of SGI delivering the industry’s best ‘real-world’, production HPC systems that customers need—then and now. “THIS is supercomputing. THIS is the box it comes in.”

Tell us what you think in the Comments below. We’d love to get your feedback!

Also, check out the microsite and video.




Food Supply THIS

Climate THIS

4 Responses to “New SGI Marketing Campaign Boldly Goes Where We Have Gone Before”

  1. Cori, great work, I like the themes and how the posters (for lack of a better word) are laid out. Nice!

    I see the campaign on too !

  2. Kent Kummer

    Hi Cori,

    Fantastic job. I have been with SGI since 1999 and feel the “THIS is supercomputing” marketing campaign truly embodies what SGI is all about. A company rich in supercomputing tradition with a passion for the future. Great work!

    Kent Kummer

  3. Jeff Gilbert

    I love this campaign! I have actually been looking for one of those 777 posters on eBay for years and never found one! Is it possible to purchase that or the B-2 poster?


    • Cori Pasinetti

      Cori Pasinetti

      Hi Jeff:

      Those posters are great! Unfortunately, we do not have any of the Boeing 777 posters. Our 777 picture was from an employee’s neighbor. The poster was hanging in his garage. Good luck with your search. If you’d like to purchase one of the new ones, I am happy to see what the cost would be. Please email me at



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