IBM Enters Sci-Fi Realm

NEW YORK IBM on Sunday launches a futuristic effort from Ogilvy & Mather designed to illustrate the client’s commitment to the Linux operating system and open-source computing.

The push anthropomorphizes the technology in the form of a 10-year-old boy in one 90-second spot.

In the execution, two off-camera voices discuss the curious blond boy (he’s the same age as Linux ) who is seen seated in a hermetic white room, listening to the advice of a cast of diverse talents: Henry Louis Gates, chairman of Harvard’s African American studies department; John Wooden, former coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team; boxing legend Muhammad Ali; and others, including a plumber and an astronomer.

“What he learns, we all learn,” says one of the off-camera voices, as the tagline flashes across the screen: “The future is open.”

Joe Pytka, who has directed IBM spots for the New York-based agency over the past decade, served as director. Unlike, past IBM ads, which humorously focused on the challenges and absurdities faced by IT managers and corporate executives, this latest work strives to adopt a more cerebral feel, a representative for the technology giant noted.