Big Blue Hits The Small Screen

Andy Stanford-Clark would like you to meet his llamas, which he credits with inspiring a breakthrough business idea.

The IBM “master inventor” tells the unusual story in the tech giant’s first foray into video podcasting, placing it alongside Burger King, Purina and General Motors in the first wave of marketers to create content specifically for the much-hyped new platform.

In the 11-minute video, Stanford-Clark discusses how companies can inspire innovation—the theme of IBM’s latest ad campaign—while taking viewers on a tour of his farm in the Isle of Wight. One of Stanford-Clark’s particular innovations arose from observing how the Isle of Wight uses satellite technology to track llamas, which he then translated into the kernel of a “pay-as-you-drive” system that adjusts car insurance rates based on where and when car owners drove.

IBM will release four more video podcasts in the coming weeks. “We want to be at the early point of the learning curves so we can figure this out and grow with it,” said Sher Taton, worldwide interactive marketing manager at IBM.

But this is about more than being first. The IBM target audience—what it calls “change agents” in corporations—is more likely to consist of both heavy travelers and early adopters of cutting-edge technologies, said David Sciascia, vp of creative at Digitas, which filmed and produced the podcasts.

IBM plans to experiment with which types of content work best on iPods and to explore ways to measure downloads from IBM’s site via Apple’s iTunes Music Store. “We have to figure out new ways and new systems,” said Taton.