IBM Creates Branded Web Documentaries
The documentaries clock in at around six minutes apiece and interview IBM employees, C-level executives and researchers on topics ranging from avian flu, catching criminals, tracking ancestry and golf.
"The documentary project is an evolution of IBM's long tradition of customer-focused advertising," said Aaron Griffiths Group Creative Director at Ogilvy, the agency behind the campaign. "IBM's story is best told through the stories of their most successful customers."
I became totally engrossed in the "Fighting crime with ones and zeros" documentary that begins with a robbery at a pizza parlor in New York City. The lone lead on the suspect is, he has a tattoo on his neck that says "sugar." The story describes how the NYPD faced problems researching suspects due to limited search capabilities and the multitude of databases, both on- and offline, officers had to keep track of. The solution, thanks to IBM, was a real-time crime center that provides info to detectives right at a crime scene. And they captured "Sugar."
Two-minute versions of the unsales-like documentaries are running during CNBC's "The Business of Innovation."
"We are currently driving traffic to the documentaries through TV, print and Web advertising," said Griffiths. "The hope is to use offline media to get customers interested in the story IBM has to tell. Then, when someone arrives at the documentary, they are predisposed to listening to the entire story, as well as the other stories. But we don't expect everyone to visit IBM's Web site, which is why we are using digital advertising placements and distributed Web sites to show the documentaries," he concluded.
NEO@Ogilvy handled the online media buying for the campaign.
Another profile describes "The Genographic Project," a collaboration between IBM and National Geographic to trace DNA back thousands of years in an effort to create the largest database of genotypes and map the evolution of humans.
Be on the lookout for new documentaries; Ogilvy said they will become a "cornerstone of the IBM campaign moving forward."