The Next Phase of A Smarter Planet: Made With IBM

By Jon Iwata

Jon Iwata, IBM Sr. VP, Marketing & Communications
Jon Iwata, IBM Sr. VP, Marketing & Communications

In November 2008, with the world in the throes of a financial crisis, IBM offered companies and governments a bold invitation: “Let’s build a Smarter Planet.” We saw that the combination of instrumentation, interconnectivity and computer intelligence had created an unprecedented opportunity to make the world work better. We initiated a global conversation about the possibilities.

Today, most people see what we saw. We have engaged with thousands of clients to help them make their enterprises and industries smarter. And our belief in Smarter Planet has only grown stronger. It remains our point of view on the world and the future.

But the world doesn’t stand still, and neither have we. The technologies underpinning Smarter Planet—Big Data analytics (including IBM Watson), mobile, cloud, and new systems of engagement – are converging, and the transformation they are unleashing is accelerating. So IBM is moving beyond the “what” and “why” of Smarter Planet to the “how.”

We call this next phase “Made With IBM.” It is both a harvest of insights and an invitation to take this transformational journey with our company. We mean to show through hard evidence that IBM can be an essential partner in providing the technology and conceptual building blocks for the new world of work. We’re making a case for action.

Today, you will see Made With IBM come to life during TV coverage of the 2014 Masters Tournament. IBM will present 50 different stories of transformational journeys through the voices of the people who have taken them. We are changing the way we communicate about the exciting possibilities before us – and at the same time we are challenging ourselves to deepen the way we engage with our clients.

Let me share one of those stories:

Most TV advertising campaigns are built by clever people brainstorming to produce compelling themse and catch phrases, and actors are then given scripts to read on camera–the creative process we know from Mad Men. We’re doing things differently. We sent camera crews and journalists around the world to interview people on the front lines of business–from developers to CEOs, as well as a few IBMers. From these conversations came the ideas and words and imagery from which we made the spots.

Here’s the story of how the ads were made:

Let me say a word about the name of this campaign. The “with” in “Made With IBM” is deliberately chosen. It captures the way we engage with leaders in business, government and society, such as the New York Genome Center (link to Bob Darnell’s ASP blog post), to co-create solutions that embody one of IBM’s core values: Innovation that matters – for our company and for the world.

In the new era of computing, this is what it takes to create value for individuals and organizations. And this is how we build a Smarter Planet.

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