IBM are the Official Technology Supplier to Wimbledon and every year Ogilvy have been tasked with creating a campaign to show IBM technology in action to appeal to B2B buyers of IBM solutions whilst in a fan mind-set. The 2018 brief was to demonstrate IBM’s new brand promise (Let’s put smart to work) and to generate leads for IBM Cloud. The added challenge this year was that Wimbledon coincided with a Summer of sport, including the World Cup, F1 at Silverstone, the US Open Golf championships and the end of the Rugby Sevens.

The idea was to capitalise on the interest in other sports by asking how one sport could find an advantage from another sport, for example, “What if England held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out like tennis players do at championship point?”, “What if tennis players reactions were as quick as an F1 driver off the line?” Questions were posed on digital banners, digital OOH at Heathrow and in social posts, and insights identified by IBM Watson were put to ex-professional players and Sky Sports’ experts to debate, thus generating Sky Sports’ content including videos and articles.

We then extended the idea of finding the advantage to show IBM in action; demonstrating how the All England Lawn Tennis Club (hosts of the Wimbledon Championship) find their advantage  e.g. “What if you want to turn a tennis club into a global sporting event?” and how IBM Cloud helps businesses find their advantage e.g. “From creating cutting edge digital experiences at Wimbledon to upgrading the experience of millions of air passengers”.

A cross client and agency team including Mindshare took a regular view of media performance coupled with live social listening to optimise the best performing channels, assets and content ensuring a balance of volume of visitors and those that were most engaged with the content. Optimisation improved response to the creative assets 3.5x over the campaign beating the B2B benchmark by 17x. 

Whilst Wimbledon viewing was down because of the clash with other sporting events, our activity broke through and achieved 3.7m engagements – an increase of 80% versus comparable activity in 2017. Our two campaign objectives were resoundingly met: 32% of decision-makers, with an influence over technology procurement, recognised the new brand line (Let’s put smart to work),and we increased awareness of IBM Cloud - 5x higher in the exposed vs. the control groupwith 60% claiming to take an action.

We also achieved a UK media first – the first time that video content developed through a Sky Sports partnership with a brand has been listed on Sky’s on-demand TV channel.