Ogilvy Experiments with Japanese-Style Puppets and Single Shots for Lenovo Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

You know the 8-minute one-take tracking shot that opens Robert Altman’s The Player?

This campaign for Lenovo’s Yoga Book and Yoga 910 laptops is not in any way related, but it is still a conceptually solid effort by Ogilvy, which won the global business back in May. Director Nieto was inspired by “the Bunraku style of traditional Japanese puppet theater” when working on these ads, which are quite active for spots composed of one single uninterrupted shot.

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who wasn’t too happy with her gig at the old metaphorical sausage factory.

Not 100% clear what she was pitching there, but the work by Prague’s Bunraku troupe Black Light Theatre Srnec was pretty cool. The team reportedly brainstormed with Neito, Ogilvy and production company Humble while figuring out which props to use in the interest of telling the story as effectively as possible.

The next spot is a stylistically similar take on a very different topic: Love in the Time of Newsfeeds.

Hope that dude wasn’t e-dating at work.

“It was a thrill to work with Ogilvy and Lenovo, who were open to pushing creative limits and taking these spots in unexpected and exciting directions,” said Nieto in the release. “These spots challenge preconceived ideas of how a laptop can look and what its function can be, and thanks to the Humble team and those at the Black Light Theatre Srnec, these ideas were brought to life in memorable and beautiful ways.”

The changes in perspective and prop usage kept this viewer interested more than the underlying narratives, which are all about redefining what a laptop does. Here’s another extended effort that launched earlier this month. It’s also focused on defying conventions.

Nice. Are the laptops any good, though?


Client: Lenovo
Creative Director Worldwide Brand: Philip Marchington

Agency: Ogilvy
Executive Creative Director: Mike Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Blank
Senior Art Director: Vanessa Hobbs
Senior Art Director: Kevin Reilly
Senior Copywriter: Amandine Fabian
Senior Copywriter: Ian Going
Executive Producer: Eric Soloway

Production Company: Humble
Director: Nieto
President/Founder: Eric Berkowitz
Executive Producer: Mark Kovacs
Head of Production: Natalie Warkenthien

Production Service Company (Prague): Sirena Film
Producer: Pavel Muller
Producer: Alexandra Moravcikova
Line Producer: Martina Palkova
Director of Photography: Jiri Malek