IBM Campaign Introduces Company’s “Other Side”

IBM has debuted a new campaign to introduce potential business consulting and services clients to “The Other IBM.” Online ads and a microsite are part of the integrated effort.

The push, the budget for which was not disclosed, is part of the company’s shift to expand its image beyond that of a technology provider. Agency of record Ogilvy & Mather and interactive unit OgilvyOne are behind the print, TV and online ads that comprise the campaign.

“The whole idea is to reveal a side of IBM that was largely unknown until this campaign ran, which is the business consulting part of the company,” said Rob Bagot, group creative director at OgilvyOne.

The campaign kicked off last week with a print spread in the Wall Street Journal. TV elements, a combination of :30s and :15s, began running this past weekend on sports and news programming. All print ads feature a call-to-action encouraging people to “Learn More. Visit ibm.com/innovation.”

Online ads began appearing last week on sports sites in conjunction with the start of the Masters Tournament, of which IBM is a sponsor. They’ll also show up on business sites such as the WSJ.com and NYTimes.com.

The online creative, in keeping with the idea of revealing a new side of IBM, feature animation in which the ad flips over to expose its other side. In one, a man’s face appears along with white text written backward. Under the backwards text, a call-to-action says “Roll over for a different perspective.”

When the user rolls over, the ad flips to show the man facing the other way. The text reads “35K. Not kilobytes. Our number of world class consultants. The Other IBM. IBM Business Consulting.” In some executions, the ads flip over by themselves. Ogilvy will test and optimize around whichever execution generates the highest response rate.

“We’re going to experiment and see which one gets interacted with more,” said Bagot. “If it’s moving, maybe it catches your eye more.”

Each of the online creative units prominently features a person’s face — emphasizing the human, rather than technology, aspects of IBM.

The microsite that serves as the landing page for both online and print ads is very task-oriented, aimed at helping people get information for their particular needs. The site is divided by need — financial management, human capital management, marketing, sales and services, etc. — as well as by industry.

“The goal of the microsite is really to drive you to the business consulting area at ibm.com,” said Bagot, adding that Ogilvy will measure traffic into specific areas to determine the success of the campaign.

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