Lenovo ‘Tortures’ Laptops

NEW YORK A new global integrated brand campaign for Lenovo computers from Ogilvy & Mather here positions the black laptops as the best engineered PCs in the world. The brand targets business professionals.

Six Webisodes set the tone for the push, with laptops being subjected to a range of indignities: flung from moving vehicles at walls, submerged in huge vats of water and tossed about in zero gravity.

The Webisodes average about two minutes each and were intentionally made differently than traditional television spots.

“The Web tends to be more gritty and raw and one can be a little more edgy and hip and contemporary on the Web. Not to say we wouldn’t do that on TV, but you can take it to the next level of edginess on the Web,” said Glen Gilbert, vp of integrated marketing communications at Lenovo in Raleigh, N.C. “The message for the Web is not a hard sell. It works better when it’s more subtle and entertaining. The rub-off on brand is substantial, but you shouldn’t have to hammer people over the head with it.”

The campaign, which launched last week, will also be seen on wallscapes in U.S. airports, trains in Japan and possibly cinema in Brazil. In addition to print, there is also insidelenovo.com, where all the Webisodes can be seen. Traditional TV ads are not yet in the mix.

Lenovo purchased the IBM PC division in late 2004 and retained Ogilvy, which had crafted advertising for the IBM ThinkPad before the acquisition. While Lenovo has previously used Ogilvy to get the word out about its product, this is its first brand awareness campaign.

“We needed something to put the name out there,” said Michael Paterson, acd, Ogilvy. “Who is this company and what do they stand for? The Lenovo labs are like the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory lab except that it’s computers instead of chocolate.”