Brand Storytelling as Documentary Filmmaking | IBM

Although we’ve now seen hundreds of television commercials that use documentary filmmaking techniques, this spot for IBM was among the first, and represented a real breakthrough in brand storytelling.

Part of a corporate campaign developed in the 90s by David Intrator and Warren Lieberman, who were then working as a creative team at the legendary New York advertising agency, Wells Rich Greene, it was among the first TV spots ever to blend a documentary style with high-production values to tell a brand story.

What’s so remarkable is how well it, and the other spots in the Citizen IBM campaign,¬†hold up today. If one ignores the fashion and the hairstyles, as well as the bulky CRT computer screens, it seems both in tone and style like something that could have been produced right now. And the topic of education in America is as relevant today as it was back then.

Which just goes to show that if you employ the basics of brand storytelling, your stories can enjoy a long shelf-life indeed.