Ogilvy and Mather has tied up a sponsorship deal with IBM in the UK that
will result in the computer giant’s first local work since its US-led
global branding campaign was launched in January.
The deal centres around a range of more than 20 break bumpers, created
by O&M London, to promote three programmes showing on the Discovery
Channel. The programmes, Beyond 2000, Future Quest and Invention, are
meant to highlight the latest technological discoveries in a down-to-earth manner, while the spots attempt to mirror them in a humorous
The idents, directed by John Howard Davies of Fawlty Towers, Steptoe and
Son and Mr Bean fame, show an enthusiastic but nerdy science teacher
valiantly struggling to bring the subject to life for his bemused
One spot shows the teacher complete with 70s clothes and National Health
Service spectacles grooving along to music with his pupils in order to
explain how it feels to be a molecule in boiling water. Another ad shows
him dropping apples on a pupil’s head to explain how the theory of
gravity was discovered.
The five- and ten-second films were created by O&M’s art director, Mark
Orbine, and the copywriter, John McLaughlin. The executions were
directed through Smith Hatfield.
Steve Barton, O&M’s group director, said: ‘It was very difficult to get
this sponsorship through because IBM is so keen to have one brand.
However, we have been able to keep the brand on track and also exploit
the different media opportunities available in the UK.’
O&M’s global campaign for IBM broke in January using the line ‘Solutions
for a small planet.’ The campaign is part of a year-long UK drive worth
pounds 12 million. In the UK, the computer giant will be putting pounds
4 million behind its pre-Christmas burst, which includes TV and poster