IBM – one of Ogilvy’s biggest global clients – is marking its 100th year as a company of innovation and inventions through a series of documentary films that chronicle the ways in which the company has changed the world through scientific and technology achievements and the “IBMers” who have been behind those breakthroughs.
The three films take the viewer on a series of journeys through IBM’s past, present and future. The first film “100 x 100,” (click on the window above tho view – it’s fascinating stuff) features one hundred people who describe an IBM achievement that took place the year they were born. Joe Pytka, one of the most influential and prolific commercial directors, shot the “100 x 100” film.
The second film, “They Were There,” shot by Oscar-winning documentary director Errol Morris with music by famed composer Philip Glass, examines the leaders and inventors behind some of IBM’s most noteworthy contributions such as the invention of the UPC code, helping put a man on the moon and the launch of the first mainframe computer.
The third film, “Wild Ducks” now being filmed by Oscar-winning Davis Guggenheim, director of “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman,” seeks to capture the spirit of invention and risk that defines the character of IBM.
“We are a company with a rich heritage of creative and forward thinkers who have made a profound impact on the world,” says Ann Rubin, vice president, brand expression and global advertising, IBM. “While each Centennial film has a specific purpose, each one represents a way for us to celebrate the people who have made IBM great, and speaks to IBM’s legacy of innovation.”
Created by Ogilvy & Mather, the film series intends to capture the ways IBM has changed the world. The films look back at IBM’s earliest developments in computers to the ubiquitous bar codes on everyday products, to the world-changing breakthroughs in computer science.
“When these stories are told in the voices of IBM employees, the real emotional depth and significance of these achievements is evident,” explains Mike Hahn, Creative Director at Ogilvy in New York.
His partner Ryan Blank adds, “IBM’s real culture is in the values of its people. That’s what this series is all about. The technology achievements are matched by the focus the company has on employees and its business leadership in hiring disabled workers, promoting and training women, even being the first company to provide life insurance and other benefits.”