NEWS: Spinal Tap stars in IBM Olympics-based push

Ogilvy and Mather unveils a global TV and print campaign for IBM this week, starring the spoof heavy-metal band, Spinal Tap.

Ogilvy and Mather unveils a global TV and print campaign for IBM this

week, starring the spoof heavy-metal band, Spinal Tap.

The campaign, backed by pounds 3 million in the UK and with a global

spend of dollars 60 million, kicks off this Thursday to promote the

computer giant’s involvement with the Olympic Games, which are based in

Atlanta, Georgia.

A month of heavyweight TV activity will follow, using the ‘solutions for

a small planet’ subtitle format developed by O&M 18 months ago. Each of

the ads focuses on a specific area of IBM’s involvement with the games,

using unexpected characters and unusual situations to tell the story.

The launch TV spot stars members of Spinal Tap chatting to each other in

the middle of an ear-splitting performance. Subtitles spell out their

inaudible conversation. ‘You know, Derek,’ the guitarist shouts, ‘our

third comeback tour could become a logistical nightmare. We’ve got

nutritionists, au pairs...’

‘Not to mention,’ Derek adds, ‘the erupting volcano apparatus.’ Another

band member replies: ‘Let’s bring in IBM. They help plan, manage and run

the Olympics and they’ve been at it since the 60s.’ To which the other

members of the band answer: ‘So have we.’

A second ad, set in the US, shows a man lying in the dentist’s chair.

The dentist chats to him as she works, somehow managing to understand

his garbled replies as he tells her about his business problems. She

suggests he talks to IBM because of its experience with the Olympics.

The worldwide TV commercials will be supported by a two-week pan-

European poster campaign.

The TV spots were written by Charlie Tercek and art directed by Susan

Westre at O&M New York. The posters were created by O&M Paris’s

copywriter, Brian Millar, and his art director, Marcus Fernandez.

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