Lenovo's Comedic Solution To 'Downtime Drama'

It can be challenging to sell products when they are perceived as commodities. Computer servers face this challenge which is why Lenovo and its agency Traction are turning to humor in new campaign to reach its enterprise IT audience.

Commodities are undifferentiated products, but Lenovo’s servers are not undifferentiated—at least according to the company which positions their servers as being known for reliability.

In the new campaign Traction reinforces that message with a two-minute "Downtime Drama" video showcasing the pain and frustrations between two tech guys, Jonah and Dale, when their company's mainframe computer goes down.

"We took a content-first, 'edu-tainment' approach to engage audiences at the top of the funnel through branded entertainment illustrating the audience’s pain point that’s actually fun to watch," says Traction's Adam Kleinberg, “The audience connects with the brand when we develop meaningful content for them, instead of just trying to sell something.”

This video will be used on Lenovo’s website and 15-second cut-downs will be used in pre-roll ads as well. Although the campaign currently runs in the U.S. and Canada, its humor is designed to translate internationally.



“A universal truth about human behavior can be translated anywhere," Kleinberg says. This campaign follows last year's "Users Happen" initiative which showed the funny side to what happens when ordinary people misuse their laptops. That campaign saw a 400% lift in engagement over Lenovo’s previous benchmarks. Traction has worked with Lenovo for the past year.

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