Cannes Lions

Reinventing the Wheel

IBM, New York / IBM / 2016

Presentation Image
Presentation Image
Demo Film






Tasked with showing car manufacturers how IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities can augment the car’s new role as a connected data warehouse on wheels, and bring an unprecedented level of personalization, intelligence, and safety to the driving experience. But IBM Watson had never been used in a car, or for any aspect of automotive, so we had to create that experience. Our immersive, 360 virtual reality experience, Reinventing the Wheel, let auto manufacturers peek under the cognitive hood and understand its potential to their brand within two minutes. The goal was to let viewers see how existing cognitive capabilities draw on real data resources, internal and external to the car. The experience had to be succinct and mobile, with minimum setup to transform complexity into understanding and show car makers how they could deliver the safety, brand differentiators, and connected services their consumers expect in a new age of mobility.


We selected an immersive VR experience to demonstrate real-world technology and capabilities in an aspirational setting so that viewers could easily understand how IBM Watson made recommendations using existing data sets. Interviews with car manufacturers and IBM Watson experts informed our storyboard of a driver journey featuring services such as IBM Watson Discovery Advisor, IBM Watson Explorer, and IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, IBM Watson Personality Insights and Sentiment Analysis. The narrative had to show three POV’s in tandem: the car manufacturer, the driver, and IBM Watson, through audio and visual effects, without distracting or nauseating the viewer. We mapped data sources to the technology insights on a virtual journey by visualizing the data graphically at different aspects of the ride, showing how IBM Watson tapped into existing data, from the driver’s social media posts and weather reports, to NHTSA traffic reports. It took six weeks to turn the boards into Reinventing the Wheel, a VR demo in a cardboard viewer that lets any user, anywhere, see the future within two minutes.

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