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Qualcomm Tries to Humanize Smart Technology With First Branding Campaign

DDB work asks 'Why wait' for the future?

A still from the new campaign.

It's easy to imagine technology's ever-expanding presence in our lives leading to a bleak, dystopian future, like something out of George Orwell's 1984. Technology giant Qualcomm's new brand campaign is a bit more optimistic, envisioning a future where technology enhances humanity, making our lives just that much simpler. 

With the 30-year-old company's first major corporate image advertising campaign from DDB in San Francisco, Qualcomm—a category leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies—wants to raise its profile. While previous work has focused on individual products, this brand messaging looks to humanize technology.

It also pushes for the propegation of smart devices and the Internet of Things with the rallying cry "Why wait?" In the videos below, a car breaks automatically for a pedestrian, a mom monitors her son's heartbeat with a phone and people unlock doors and turn off lights with a swipe.



"We have tremendous capabilities, but we've never talked about them," said Susan Lansing, vp of marketing and branding for Qualcomm. "We have a very unique marketing position in that the people we've done business with for the last 30 years—the handset manufactures and whatnot—they know us exceedingly well; they know what we do. But the industry is kind of at a pivotal point."  

Lansing explained that the types of technologies Qualcomm has developed for phones over the last 30 years are now used in many devices that surround consumers every day.

"Now automobiles, smart homes, appliances, wearables—whole hosts of devices are not only connected now, but they're intelligent," said Lansing. "So that kind of hit Qualcomm's capabilities' sweet spot. We have this really great opportunity now to tell technology decision makers and technology influencers, especially those who are influencing these new market segments, about our capabilities and our intentions." 

The new campaign kicks off today and features digital and print aspects as well as event sponsorships and content partnerships with outlets like The Huffington Post, The Atlantic and AOL.

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