New Lenovo Campaign Plays Up Weird in the Good Way

Multi-Year Push Banks on Making an Existing Term a Lenovo Pitch

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A new, multi-year Lenovo campaign dubbed "Goodweird" includes a video beginning with images that most people will instantly recognize: grainy, black-and-white footage of man's failed attempt to fly with a pair of self-made wings attached to something that looks like a bicycle. The ad transitions to a more modern shot, also now familiar, of a person soaring by a mountain in a wingsuit, then switches gears to a rendering of what appears to be a Northrop B-2 Gruman, better known to most people as the Stealth Bomber.

The point for Lenovo, which will initially focus the effort on a tablet computer with a built in high-definition video projector, is that innovations that ultimately became familiar and accepted still looked very strange at first.

Lenovo opted to work with three different agencies to deploy their Goodweird campaign. London-based DLKW Lowe came up with the slogan after being approached by Lenovo, according to the company. We Are Social is handling social aspects and Blast Radius has been slotted to handle digital marketing.

"We had to embrace a different agency model," said Quinn O'Brien, VP-global brand strategy, content and design at Lenovo "There are three different entities from three different holding companies working on this. In a lot of ways we initially forced them to work together and talk about the brief, but once the idea came out it, it was a lot easier to rally them around a single idea and they eventually worked very closely together to roll this out."

Lenovo's has been pursuing greater brand awareness among consumers, particularly millennials, partly by designing a new logo and making different video campaigns aimed at younger consumers.

About two years ago, Lenovo began discussing millennials internally and decided to focus on one key subset: design trendsetters.

"Design trendsetters are the people in the social group who care what others think about them, and they buy products and get close with brands because those brands say something about them," Mr. O'Brien said. "It's as simple as that. They are a large segment, they are a powerful segment in terms of their spend and buying power, and their friends and peers will look at their products and say, 'What is that?' and they will feel like they are leading a trend."

The company is directing a portion of its "Goodwerid" campaign spending to prominent YouTubers and Viners who are already creating videos catered around the theme. BuzzFeed will also create content designed to interest its audience in the idea. "Good weird" isn't a new concept, but it doesn't belong to any one thing, person or product, Mr. O'Brien said.

"The whole goal around this is to get people to engage with Goodweird and put it out the right way so people associate Lenovo and Goodweird," O'Brien said. "We want to push people to go out and look at the world and see what is good and weird and tag it with the hashtag."

China-based Lenovo is the No. 1 PC brand worldwide and had a 19.2% market share at the end of 2014, representing growth of 10.1% year over year, according to IDC. In the U.S., however, the company ranks fourth, behind HP, Dell and Apple.