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And Now For Something Completely Different

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Storage companies usually let the details that set their products apart sell their products, but backup firm LiveVault is trying a different approach to storage marketing.

LiveVault has hired John Cleese, the comic actor and former front man of British comedy troupe Monty Python, to host a series of Webinars promoting the company's backup products. (Editor's note: Probably a good time to mention our own backup Webinar that will be hosted next month by Data Mobility Group Senior Analyst Dianne McAdam).

The result, available at http://webinar.onlinebackup.com, manages to be both funny and informative, combining Cleese's caustic and zany humor with Pythonesque production values while still managing to cover many product details. Cleese even manages to pronounce "SQL" correctly ("sequel").

The production pokes fun at backup tapes and promises to save users from a syndrome called "backup trauma," also the name of a second Web site at www.backuptrauma.com. Cleese, playing a Dr. Twain Weck in the video, notes that LiveVault's products could also keep CEOs out of jail, "as much as that sounds appealing."

LiveVault won't say what it paid for Cleese's appearance — or for Thunder Sky Pictures and Captains of Industry to write and produce the video — but company marketing director Christine Eyre says the cost has been worth it.

"People know that campaign," Eyre told Enterprise Storage Forum. "Not everyone in the world, but a fair number in our target market. And once we draw the right type of folks to us via that campaign, our sales team is doing a fine job closing them."

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