IBM’s OOH ads make cities smarter

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Many of us are aware of IBM’s Smarter Planet corporate initiative, which highlights how forward-thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress.  For example, solutions to traffic congestion, smart grids, water management, greener buildings, and more.

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Smarter Planet ads are often seen in business and tech-leading publications, both online and in print. IBM’s latest OOH ads really bring this proposition to life:

“Cities can be difficult places to live. Despite all they have to offer, they often make lives difficult for its citizens, with stairs where there should be ramps, no shelter when it rains, and nowhere to sit your weary self down. Ogilvy & Mather Paris and IBM’s “Smarter Cities” campaign try to ease things for you, by turning their ads into useful, smart solutions. By adding a simple curve to a poster, they turned them into places to stand under when it rains, and someplace to sit when you’re tired. With some modifications, they also turned them into a ramp for bicyclists to easily traverse”. – via @Creativity-Online

The ads drive to the Smarter Cities Challenge [] where the company is crowdsourcing ideas for building Smarter cities.

“IBM launched the Smarter Cities Challenge to collaborate with local governments and co-fund technology-based solutions to city-specific urban challenges. Through the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM aims to help 100 cities across the world address urban issues with $50 million worth of IBM technology and expertise”.

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Why I’m Curious

Demonstrating real value in a tangible way in an excellent way for IBM to extend its Smarter Cities proposition to more people. This initiative truly demonstrates IBM’s commitment to address key problems in cities to make the world a better place using their technology and solutions.  While this initiative clearly demands a large budget and scope, I’m curious about how smaller companies – tech or otherwise – can create simliar CSR programs.


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