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Lenovo’s Olympics ad was born in India

Lenovo’s Olympics ad was born in India
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First Published: Sat, Aug 09 2008. 12 07 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Aug 09 2008. 12 07 AM IST
Mumabi: India, which can optimistically be expected to win a handful of medals at the Beijing Olympics, scored in an altogether unexpected way at the opening ceremony of the Games.
Chinese PC maker and the Beijing Olympics sponsor Lenovo aired during the telecast of the Games’ opening ceremony across the world—in India, China, the US, and other places—an ad created for it by the Bangalore branch of advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather Ltd (O&M).
This branch has created a “global” hub that works on all international campaigns for the Chinese firm.
Ideas can come from anywhere, says Piyush Pandey, chairman, O&M India, who worked closely with Lenovo’s creative director and O&M’s creative teams in Mumbai and Bangalore on the 60-second commercial referred to as the “Sumo” ad because it features a group of Sumo wrestlers.
“Ideas everywhere” also happens to be an ongoing communications theme for Lenovo and, a few months ago, Pandey created a bulb-and-balloon kind of logo to represent this. The logo appears in all of the company’s ads and on its products.
The “Sumo” commercial, for Lenovo’s X300 laptop, has already made its debut on YouTube and shows 200 Sumo wrestlers walking in the streets of Sydney among people dressed in their winter wear. The sumos do a jig and then make a formation like a plane, before they run and actually take off. Two of the sumos look down and curl their feet in a manner that a plane’s wheels turn up during take-off. The line follows: “Heavy on features, light in weight” Lenovo Think Pad X300.
Indian ad agencies are increasingly being appointed by multinational advertisers to create ads for some of their overseas markets. For example, Lowe India has taken the “dirt is good” (daag acche hain) ad theme it created for Hindustan Unilever Ltd to Unilever’s brands across South Asia. Afghan Wireless Communication Co., a mobile service provider in Afghanistan, had appointed TBWA India Pvt. Ltd as its brand consultant for all integrated communications needs. And O&M India has handled accounts such as International Business Machines (IBM), Castrol, Nestle and Singapore Airlines, across global markets.
“There’s an increasing demand for global creatives from India,” said Josy Paul, chairman of ad agency BBDO India. “The reason is the push-and-pull effect. The pull happens because our work and people are being recognized by the world. The push is because Indians in global positions who are pushing for us to be part of the global contribution.”
Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC business in 2004. Earlier this year, it decided to create an umbrella brand theme of “ideas” for its consumer and business products.
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First Published: Sat, Aug 09 2008. 12 07 AM IST