IBM Rational software - Mr. Fong by Ogilvy

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IBM turned to Ogilvy for a campaign supporting its Rational software technology, which allows software developers to work on projects collaboratively while in different locations.

To demonstrate how the software can bring people together across great distances, Ogilvy sent the main character of the campaign, Mr. Fong, into the vastness of outer space.

“We put him up in space because you can't get any further lost than that,” explains Vicki Azarian, creative director at Ogilvy. “Through the funny vignettes and videos, we show the wrong way [to connect developers], and then Rational comes in and helps him do it the right way.”

The video e-mail was sent to a list containing names from IBM's own database as well as a purchased list. Since the Rational Software technology is itself a social tool, Ogilvy set up social media pages for Mr. Fong on all major social networks.

“We wanted to use social media to do two things – be viral and get around and have the video be something people share, but we also wanted to show that using these different modes of communication was a good way to connect, but the best to connect [in the software development space] is to use the Rational technology,” explains Chris Landau, creative director at Ogilvy.

As with many campaigns in these economic times, the creative team was constrained by a tight budget, which was an additional challenge on top of communicating the benefits of the product itself.

“One of the mothers of invention was budget – we didn't have a big one,” says Lindau. “We used that fact to push some creative ideas through that may not have gone through if there was more money and time.”


Vice Chairman, Creative, Ogilvy New York
Chris Wall

Executive Creative Director
Susan Westre

Creative Directors
Vicki Azarian
Chris Lindau

Art Director 
Sally Kim

Art Director
Mike Tunney

Copywriter
Steven Schroth

Copywriter
Ben Heller

Interactive Production
Jason Shevchuk

Interactive Production
Valerie Valoueva

Please contact Kevin McKeefery for all contributions and feedback.

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