Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch: IBM - 'Road in the Middle of Nowhere'

Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch: IBM - 'Road in the Middle of Nowhere'

Article excerpt

Most of what is referred to as business-to-business communications seems to exist in a parallel universe dominated by conventions ripe for disruption. Open an in-flight magazine, switch on a news channel, or look at airport media and you will be met by faceless corporations, meaningless jargon and 'aspirational' imagery. This is a world where the 80s never ended - laptops are always open, mobiles are always in use and all businesswomen wear power-suits.

All of this ignores the fundamental and somewhat obvious truth that 'business people' are in fact human beings, and truly engaging them requires an emotional connection.

Smart brands such as Apple, Virgin Atlantic and Orange have successfully talked to a 'business' audience using a single, consistent voice that cuts through the clutter. But they are the exception.

The latest ad in the IBM 'Helpdesk' campaign features two 'good ol' boys' in a gigantic truck screeching to a halt in front of the aforementioned helpdesk, which just happens to be in the middle of a desert road, replete with IBM staffer. She informs them that they are lost; she knows this because the boxes on their truck, which are fitted with RFID tags, told her. …

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