Ogilvy Bows IBM Short Films

NEW YORK IBM and its lead agency, Ogilvy & Mather, are launching a series of documentary short films that illustrate how IBM meets the technology needs of clients such as National Geographic, the New York City Police Foundation and the United States Tennis Association.

Two-minute versions of the shorts will run during breaks in The Business of Innovation, a new CNBC show that premieres on Sunday, according to Ogilvy.

IBM is the exclusive sponsor of the show, which will be hosted by Maria Bartiromo.

Longer versions of the shorts will appear on the Web sites of CNBC, IBM and the featured clients. IBM also will distribute the stories via iTunes, Google and YouTube.

Other IBM clients featured in the shorts include the PGA Tour and the Scripts Research Institute, which works to prevent the spread of avian flu.

The shorts mix footage of IBM and client executives talking about their technology challenges with bursts of screen copy and on-location images.

In the Police Foundation short, for example, NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly talks about how information in a database of convicted criminals helped detectives identify and subsequently arrest a suspect in an armed robbery. The suspect had a “sugar” tattoo on his neck that was noted in the database, which is maintained by a Real Time Crime Center that the foundation funds.

The USTA short focuses on a new point-tracker graphic treatment that traces the route of the ball over the course of a point.

The effort builds on Ogilvy’s existing “What Makes You Special?” campaign, which positions IBM as a company that helps clients distinguish themselves with the help of technology. The documentary approach also depicts “technology” in a more concrete, down-to-earth way, said an IBM representative.

Ogilvy’s creative department and its Branded Content and Entertainment Group helped IBM produce the project, the rep said. Doug Scott, executive director of branded content and entertainment, leads the brand experience group.