Smart Loves Problems

Let’s put smart to work

In an industry where competitors present themselves as solution-focused, we decided to approach it with a different perspective, and embrace the scariest word to any company: problems. Our strategic breakthrough led to the rollout of a global, 360º campaign highlighting big industry problems and why IBM is the right partner to help you solve them.

The Hot House

The brand positioning ‘Let’s Put Smart to Work’ wasn’t resonating with our audience, so WPP assembled a team of creatives and strategists from AKQA, Ogilvy, and Grey to find a solution. 

Just two days into the five-day off-site, our team cracked it, proposing the line and brand platform that helped build an entire campaign. We demonstrated that Smart Loves Problems gave IBM a unique perspective, was true to the brand’s DNA and could flex across every IBM product on the market. Smart Loves Problems was sold into the client before we even flew home. 

The Launch

The campaign was launched on the moon landing anniversary — coordinated and calculated by IBM machines and employees. It was announced with the manifesto and TV scripts developed at the Hot House, signaling IBM’s intent to build the future, as they’ve done so often in the past.

The Anthem

Based on a few real-life events from the off-site itself, like flickering lightbulbs and lost luggage, we begin collectively drafting the campaign TV spot, with the Ogilvy team executing it on our return.

By leading with problems we’re actively working on, it allowed us to highlight IBM’s headline products, including Watson, Cloud, and Blockchain in an authentic way.

As well as problems which resonate with our audience, the new strategy honed in on the need to humanize the idea of ‘smart’. A series called the ‘Problem Solvers’ highlighted the people who are turning problems into opportunities to help build a better future.

Smart Talks

One of our biggest activations to bring Smart Loves Problems to life was through a podcast. Episodic content that brings the smartest minds on the planet together to solve problems — hosted by the revered Malcolm Gladwell. A huge success, Smart Talks has just entered its third season.

Discussing IBM’s approach to AI and how it’s helping businesses transform the way they work with fair AI systems that address bias so AI can benefit everyone, not just a few.

Reinventing Audi’s customer experience with IBM Garage, an IBM-owned program that connects experts all over the world.

Women currently represent approximately 22% of the AI workforce. This episode discusses the challenges, achievements, and steps being taken to create a more inclusive tech world.

Verizon and IBM are working together to better connect entire industries. Malcolm and guests discuss how 5G, edge computing, and AI can help reshape the way work gets done.

Creative: Joe Fox
Creative: Ricky Bowry
Executive Creative Director: Jeff Curry // Group Creative Director: Resh Sidhu, Rich Wallace, Marc Hartzman  // Creative Director: Abe Baginsky, Jon Wagner // Technical Director: David Justus // Creative: Nicole Narvaez, Matthew Coleman, Eric Yoon, Parker Lee  //  Strategy: Nick Smatt