Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IBM's Smarter Planet Ads are Excellent

I don't know about you but it's hard NOT to see an advertisement for the Smarter Planet solutions and I am an IBMer. TV, magazines, newspapers, it is really everywhere.

Usually there is a series of them over a few pages in a magazine with each ad dedicated to a topic or idea or brand, even Lotus has some.

The ads speak to you from the depth of idealism. Cleaner water, smarter utilities, the promise of a better world. Makes you want to go out and join IBM to do this work. Well it makes me want to do it at least because I do believe in a better world that we can create for our kids and future generations.

But we have one problem.

The URL at the end which takes you to a website where you can learn more about this great Smarter Planet solution never even asks you or shows a link to join IBM. Go see, I'll wait for you. If you like other ideas, go to and click on the Smarter Planet graphic on the page.

So IBM finally has a marketing/advertising campaign that is what we have asked for, it pulls at you to do something, appeals to various people and levels of society, makes one feel good about IBM and the world...but it's just a sales line. All bets are off, my idealism is shot. But I want to make a better world. But IBM is not hiring outsiders usually, no matter how many jobs may be on the public website.

I discussed this with people at Lotusphere this year. IBMers, press, marketing people and others from all walks of life. Maybe I was not the target audience after all. I am sure people out there hate these ads but they are probably Microsoft live and work in a silo type people.

But if IBM was trying to find college students to recruit or even experienced people like myself, this was the best way to do it. I wonder what those 500 students at Lotusphere think about it.

What would Google do if they ran this ad? My guess is they would have landed tons of resumes of people who really wanted to do these projects. 

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