IBM Smarter Planet Anthem

IBM is continuing the Smarter Planet advertising campaign with “Anthem”, demonstrating how an understanding of data patterns is important to industries like healthcare, transportation and energy and utilities. Zoo Films director James Frost, who directed the Radiohead music video for House of Cards, brought his skills in manipulating 3D data to produce data visualizations based on real data sets taken from organizations across the globe. The volunteered information is shared between clinical and patient hospital divisions, the energy consumed by California residents and traffic patterns in Singapore. For that reason, efficient data management and analysis is essential to a Smarter Planet. See more from the campaign on the IBM Advertising YouTube channel.

IBM Hospital Bed

Voiceover: Our planet is alive with data. It’s generated by cars on a freeway. Patients in a hospital. Electricity in the grid. The more we understand data, the more answers we find. Patterns are easing traffic in over 400 cities. Finding disease 50 times faster. Reducing energy costs by 10%. On a smarter planet, we can analyze all the data we now see to make the world work better. Let’s build a smarter planet.


The Smarter Planet campaign is being developed at Ogilvy & Mather New York by executive producer Lee Weiss, associate producer Rich Fiset, executive creative director Susan Westre, executive creative director Tom Godic and Greg Ketchum, creative director Chris Van Oosterhout, art director TJ Walthall, executive music producer Karl Westman.

Greg Ketchum provides some of the thinking behind the current campaign.

“In the next phase of IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign, we’re focusing our messaging on how organizations around the world are going about the business of actually building it. One of the pillars of building a smarter planet is the emergence of data and the ability to harness it for answers to our biggest problems. We wanted to educate business leaders on the importance of data, provide some context for its proliferation, and suggest the enormous opportunities that lie within it. We also wanted to convey to people that we now have the computational power and advanced analytics to see data in new ways so we can make sense of it. Hence, our interest in finding the most compelling, arresting ways possible of visualizing actual data. On a smarter planet, data matters.”

Filming was shot by director James Frost via Zoo Films, Los Angeles, with executive producer Gower Frost and line producer Dawn Fanning Moore.

James Frost gives his perspective on the commercial.

“When Ogilvy New York approached me with the concept for the spot, I was immediately interested as it was an opportunity to take everything I’d learnt from the Radiohead House of Card video I made and explore the different techniques possible with 3D scanning. The Radiohead project was showing data in its purest form – it had a distinctive look and feel and was very much exactly how I saw it for the song, where as with IBM we wanted build a world which was created from data and within this world show how data exists.

The script called for very distinctive imagery so I wanted to explore doing something on a grander scale. Initially the idea was to scan the entire island of Manhattan, but for security reasons and ultimately creative reasons, the decision was made not to. We did however scan the entire downtown area of Houston, Texas. This had never been done before and we spent four days in the air scanning from a helicopter. In post production, we then worked very closely with Jeff Stevens and the team at The Mill, New York to add dimension and space within the environment. Ogilvy really wanted to convey the idea that our world is alive with data; so it became very important that we find a way to show this data in a colorful, vibrant and optimistic manner that would stay true to the voice of IBM.”

Editor was Nicholas Wayman-Harris at Union Editorial, Los Angeles.

Post production and FX were produced at The Mill New York by creative director Jeff Stevens, producer Boo Wong, designers Joshua Harvey, Kris Mercado, CG artists Rob Petrie, Ruben Vandebroek, James Studdard, Vincent Baertsoen, Joshua Merck, Mike Dunkley, Jeffrey Dates, Jeffrey Lopez, Graham Clark, Marco Iozzi, Flame artists Dan Wiliams, Corey Brown, Claudia D’Enjoy, compositors Andrew Ortiz, Bashir Hamid.

Soundtrack is “Soul Captain” by Viktor Karlsson

Aerial LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) was provided at Aerotec USA by operations director and program manager Scott Dow, helicopter pilot Jamie Campbell, airborne LIDAR operator Danny Gay, LIDAR specialist William Wallace and CEO Jim Dow.

Coign Asset Metrics & Technologies teaem included business sector manager/senior technical lead Travis Reinke, senior laser scanning technicians Chance Alford and Phil Barker.