Cannes Lions


OGILVY FRANCE, Paris / IBM / 2013

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Since many initiatives are already trying to empower citizen’s contributions we wanted the communication to stand out and showcase IBM’s commitment in this arena.

As it was the first time IBM was reaching out to a broader audience than just B2B, the ad needed to be engaging & relevant for any citizen.


Since the 'People for Smarter Cities' project is all about building smarter cities, we wanted the advertising to actually bring utility to the city as well. So, we created ads with a purpose – a bench, shelter and ramp that are not only beautiful, but can be useful to city dwellers. The short, simple message drives people to the site to share ideas and be inspired.

The 'Outdoors as utility' is one part of a 360° deployment including the following assets:

- viral videos (launched with a video hosting and distribution strategy).

- social media activation/digital influence.

- paid and organic search.

- flash media banners.

- event material.

- emailings.


Primarily designed to promote the IBM social site 'People for Smarter Cities' an interactive and innovative platform now exists where citizens are encouraged to contribute smart ideas for the betterment of their cities - this new type of outdoor took the communication to a new level.

Initially launched in London and Paris, for the first time a new kind of ambient was used in to show how advertising can also bring utility to citizens. An extension to its already successful Smarter Cities campaign, IBM has plans to take this idea to cities around the world and inspire citizens to think about simple ways they can help make their cities smarter. IBM's other agencies are also interested in implementing this idea in the many locations where events happen around the world. New concepts bringing in other utility purposes are in development.

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