IBM FOR AFRICA

TitleIBM FOR AFRICA
ClientIBM
Product/ServiceTECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
CategoryA02. Posters
EntrantOGILVY & MATHER SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
Entrant Company OGILVY & MATHER SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
Advertising Agency OGILVY & MATHER SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE

Brief Explanation

Unfortunately, many Africans had no idea what IBM does. In fact when asked, some thought we still made typewriters. We decided not to talk about who we are, but what we do: grow businesses even in places without reliable electricity or paved roads, using technology to accomplish things that may sound impossible. But there was another problem: Africa is a very big place. We had to launch in several markets all at once, each with its own media landscape and production capabilities. Internet penetration was low, printing was unreliable, and placement wasn’t ideal. Visibility and quality control were big concerns.

The Brief

56 nations. 1 billion people. Growth rivaling Asia’s. Finally, it’s Africa’s time. Investment is up tenfold while a new generation of “Afropreneurs” reinvent an entire continent. All of this was a hugely exciting new opportunity for IBM, worth over two billion dollars. With solutions to make businesses and governments and systems smarter, we were the ideal partner for Africa. So we aggressively expanded across the continent, opening branches in over 20 countries and a research lab in Kenya. All we needed to do was introduce ourselves.

How the final design was conceived

The work needed to feel local even while running in multiple countries and languages. It also had to describe very complex IBM solutions in a simple and understandable way. So we devised a clear and concise campaign that relies on graphic illustration. The design combines two themes. Inspired by the hand-drawn style of local artists, we created visual metaphors that might be familiar to the readers of international editorial publications. The result is bright and bold, easy to understand and easy to produce.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The campaign was supported by nearly 1,000 assets running in over 20 countries, reaching leaders all across Africa. In just one year, our web traffic increased 40 times. Our revenue contribution increased 700%. And in our latest research, Africans praised IBM “innovation,” “partnership” and “smarter technology”...not typewriters.

Credits

Name Company Position
Todd Krugman Ogilvy/Mather Director
Carolyn Chan Ibm Advertising Manager
Ratnika Luthra Ogilvy/Mather Account Manager
Molly Wagman Ogilvy/Mather Group Account Director
Jet Aw Ogilvy/Mather Copy Writter
Ginny Lim Ogilvy/Mather Art Director
Jeff Curry Ogilvy/Mather Creative Director