Database Cosmetics: Thatt's the way it became IBM

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The ad looks like the opening of "The Brady Bunch," with faces in different squares smiling and looking at each other. But instead of Bobby and Cindy, the people include executive consultant Oliver Siodmak and IT professional Cynthia Cohen. In an Internet world still principally populated with fairly static ads, what makes these ads from IBM Corp. stand out is that through an innovative use of Macromedia's Flash, agency Ogilvy Interactive has almost made it seem like the people are living in your monitor. The effect can be a little off-putting, but it's impossible to ignore.

It's all part of a new Web campaign-supplemented by print-designed to highlight the talent behind the company's services. The campaign began running May 15 and is aimed at "implementers, strategists and c-level and above executives," said Greg Kaplan, interactive creative director at the unit of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. "The concept behind the campaign was to position IBM as a people and solutions-oriented service providing company-sort of changing the mind-set from IBM as hardware to IBM as people, to showcase their innovative thinking."

The campaign includes banners and skyscrapers. Users, while they look around the screen, can roll over each video head shot to find out the names of the people in the campaign and what they do, with everyone from Linux programmers to strategists being featured. The next phase of the campaign, launching June 27, will add audio downloads where users can hear the employees' thoughts, opinions and accomplishments, something the cast of "The Brady Bunch" was never permitted to do. The ads, running mostly on tech sites such as CNET and ZDNet, link to, and the URL also is featured in the print campaign. According to Jupiter Media Metrix, CNET was the company's fifth-favorite online media buy over the last three quarters, accounting for 15.2 million of the brand's online impressions. (Interestingly, IBM served far and away its most ads on CNN during the same period, garnering almost 69 million impressions.)

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