Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IBM Smarter Planet campaign wins Global Gold Effie award based on campaign results

I was excited to learn yesterday that the Smarter Planet campaign, developed by IBM and Ogilvy & Mather, were recognized with the 2010 Gold Global Effie award in recognition of marketplace success and creativity.

I want to take a moment and emphasize that last point.  This is not an award based on what some judges deemed to be a creative advertisement.  This particular award requires documented results across multiple continents, in at least four countries, with judging taking place over four rounds in Mumbai, London, Buenos Aires and New York.  It is open to entries from brands across all sectors and industries (and while I'm not comfortable sharing the names of some of the other nominees - since I haven't seen a public list yet - if you were to jot down the top brands that come to mind - both inside and outside the tech sector - you'd probably have a pretty complete list of the people IBM was up against.)  

From the press release announcing the award:  

"Winning the Global Gold Effie is among the toughest in the Effie competition as a brand needs to demonstrate results across multiple continents, in at least four countries while competing with brands across all sectors," explained Mary Lee Keane, President of Effie Worldwide.  "Our panel of judges was blown away with the results, innovation and scope of IBM's business agenda set forth through the Smarter Planet campaign."

I know there have been discussions on this blog and elsewhere over how effective the Smarter Planet campaign has or has not been.  While I don't have specific insight into how much impact it has had for small-to-midsize organizations or for IBM Business Partners (which is where I believe many of the concerns about relevancy and effectiveness come in), I did want to share some highlights from the results put forward in the evaluation case study (pdf).

Results against objectives:
  • IBM analysts estimate that the Smarter Planet strategy has expanded their market potential by as much as 40% globally, or $2.3 Billion dollars.
  • IBM increased their brand value in the toughest economic climate since the Great Depression.
  • According to BrandZ, IBM increased their brand value by 20% (representing $11.3 billion dollars), from $55.3B in 2008 to $66.6B in 2009, in a category that only grew by 2% overall. – BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2009.
  • According to Interbrand, IBM increased their brand value by 2% (a number estimated to represent $1.2 billion). In an economic climate in which most brands’ share prices and brand values dropped (the combined value of the top 100 brands fell 4.5%). – 2009 Interbrand Best Global Brands Study
  • Similarly, since the campaign launched in November 2008, IBM’s stock price has increased 64% against a Dow that grew just 14%, resulting in an increase in IBM’s market capitalization by approximately $50 billion dollars. And although some would say that such a grand achievement is hard to attribute to a campaign, an increase in brand value makes the case even stronger. – IBM, Q309

We see evidence of this idea’s effectiveness in IBM’s position within the larger consideration set of our audience and in how we exceeded our goal of increasing preference by 5%–10%. – IBM, Brand Health Monitor, Q3 2009
Image:IBM Smarter Planet campaign wins Global Gold Effie award based on campaign results

Brand tracking has showed significant shifts on key image dimensions – such as ‘making the world work better’, ‘an expert in how the world works’, and ‘known for solving its clients most challenging problems’ - for both clients and prospects. – IBM, Brand Health Monitor, Q3 2009

My congratulations and appreciate to my colleagues in IBM and our counterparts at Ogilvy & Mather and all the contributing agencies on the award!