July 31, 2014

Your Weekend Assignment: IBM Centennial Film

Back in 1984, I was working as a communications intern at the IBM Research and Manufacturing plant in Boulder, CO. It was an amazing place to be, 5,000 employees working at a single facility on the Diagonal Highway. Heck, there were only 6,000 in the town I grew up in.

I was there when the PC came out. I remember our department getting the first PC at the entire plant. People would come in just to look at it.

I watched this video and got choked up a few times. You’ll see how IBM was there for so many of the key moments that define the times that we live in today. Most of these innovations are things that we take for granted today. Making an airline reservation, calling 911, barcodes, motherboards, personal computers, space flight and even beautiful fractals from Benoît B. Mandelbrot.

So, I admit to being a bit biased. But, trust me, this is 30 minutes well spent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please…let me know your favorite moments in the comments.

Oooh, Oooh, Oooh…a Movie Set!

105001 We took the kids down to LA to see the La Brea Tar Pits on our way to a graduation party for a friend. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed (couldn’t help but notice) that about half of the parking lot had been taken up by a bunch of studio production vehicles. There were big tents set up with caterers. People all over the place carrying big lights and cables. Generator trucks, gear all over the place, including INSIDE the museum. As we wandered through the exhibits there were big movie lights and tri-pods stacked to the sides. Somebody is spending big bucks on this deal.

Kind of exciting! Looks like they’re shooting a movie! Maybe we’ll see some famous stars!

As we’re buying a few trinkets at the gift store, I casually asked the cashier what was going on…y’know, in my best nonchalant style to show that I’m hip and cool.

"Wal-Mart Commercial" was his response.

"C’mon kids…let’s get to the graduation party."

Goes to show, you can’t cut corners on production values when you’re trying to convince the world that you’re the low-cost solution to everything.

Note to Agent: I want to play the branding guy in the movie.

Finally! A book with a branding consultant as one of the main characters. This is what we need to put branding consultants on the radar of all those people who are not branding consultants. Seriously, we’ve been dishing out lawyer lines for so long, it’s about time branding folks got their due.

I can’t wait to see which big-time branding consultants pick up on the “deep branding” concept.

Here are some lines from a review of Transmission by Hari Kunzru.

“…an enjoyable, page-turning romp about a computer geek, a Bollywood actress and a narcissistic branding consultant. Then, quite brilliantly, it all blows up at the end. “

“…in parallel with this, we follow Guy Swift and his vacuous branding company Tomorrow. His big idea is “deep branding”, and he invites personnel threatened with redundancy to a “village council” where he tells them to give themselves a round of applause. “

Please, please, please, can I play Guy Swift in the movie?

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