Powerful Technology Ads

While I was watching the commercials running during the NFL Divisional playoffs, I noticed a common theme among them: they all attempted to convince people of the merits of using technology to solve new and complex problems.  As an engineer, I was thrilled to see technology and the spirit of innovation taking center stage. I thought it was an effective marketing ploy by showing people what innovation looks like.

For instance, Verizon showed they were able to build an apparatus to be used by a firefighter moving through a fire and new mobile telepresence device that allowed a sick child to attend class. Now, I wish engineers and technologists really worked in cool spaces shown in the commercial with a three-story whiteboard, and working out equations on glass boards. The truth is a lot of brainstorming happens with a powerpoint slide in a conference room sometime supplemented by a classroom sized whiteboard. At the end of the commercial we are told the tag line, “because the world’s biggest challenges deserve even bigger solutions.”

In the Honda Commercial we are told that, “things can always be better,” which as an engineer I can’t argue against, the whole job of an engineer is to make things better. We see the theme of compactness, a bike that can fit in a backpack, a couch that can be stored, and a compact stroller. Unlike the Verizon commercial they didn’t show the brainstorming behind the innovation but instead focused more on the use of the innovative devices.

Of course as an IBM employee (opinions shared in this blog are my own, and do not represent those of IBM), I will say I have several favorite IBM commercial that I’ve seen. I like this one, showing how much can happen in a second such as being able to detect a problem on a high speed train track, detecting a power disruption, or catching financial fraud. The point the commercial is trying to get across no matter how small your data set is it still has some meaning. That’s where analytics comes in, what do you do with all this data. Research has actually shown that through IBM’s tagline, “Building a Smarter Planet”, IBM has created one of the most valuable technology brands in the world.