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How could Lenovo have been more “Authentic”? A personal wish list of politically incorrect videos…

July 31st, 2008 | by Klaus Holzapfel |

Voice of the Olympic GamesFollowing yesterday’s criticism of Lenovo Olympic site “Voices of the Olympic Games” I am suggesting a different route. Something a bit more real.

I am focusing on the area of web videos. Everyone looks and talks about videos these days. They are a great way to start conversations. So it is not such a bad place to start with.

How about some web videos of the “other” kind?

I would have asked Lenovo if they are ready to be “real” and show some self humor and criticism. The answer might have been: “Yes, but…”

I would have ignored the but and would have suggested to go the extreme rout. Ready for my “politically incorrect video wish list”?

1. Computers with missing parts
Make a video with computers with missing parts being shipped. Make fun of the fact that Lenovo has been out of stock of some parts because they were too popular.
That happened to me last year. I cancelled my order after 6 weeks. They just couldn’t get their hands on a 17″ screen at that time.

Claim: “Our suppliers work 168 hours a week in 2 shifts. We’ll have your missing parts ready soon.”

2. Tibet (of course!)
Have some Chinese guys sitting in a board room stressing that they can’t even keep the Tibetan monks quiet: ” Let make sure they don’t get their hands on our gear. They’ll storm the Internet.”
Claim: ” Lenovo – Not available in Tibet”

Alternatively we could also think of a special Chinese edition Laptop being shown. It looks like the normal one but lacks the letters T,I,B and E on the keyboard

How about a complementary print ad asking if you can find 4 errors in this picture?

3. Copyright violations

Some Chinese guys are getting busted for copyright violations. “You are supposed to copy the other computers not our own stuff you moron! Get back to work!”

Claim: “Lenovo – we don’t need to steal our own stuff”

4. Air quality – Our boxes are clean
It is not our torch that made the air in Beijing so bad. Yes some athletes will end up in the hospital but aren’t we all going to die some day. And isn’t it worth the sacrifice. And isn’t doping just as unhealthy?

“You are safe. We air out our boxes before final delivery. We bring clean air to your doorsteps and leave the mess behind.”

5. Big dissing Apple party
Show some of their managers being all ecstatic about Apples latest failures with mobile.me .  Have them chop up apples with big Samurai-like swords. They party, they cry, they cheer, they celebrate. Finally Apple sucks, too. They are human. We are all the same!

Claim: “Chinese Schadenfreude – one of the best parties of the world”

These are only some concepts I came up with in 10 minutes. Our creative video maker community at moviebakery would easily top this if they’ll be put to work.

How is any of this relevant?
Some of you might shake their heads now and call me unprofessional and clueless.

These web videos would be addressing some of the biggest issues I have with the brand Lenovo and what they are currently (not) doing. Being silent about it won’t change things.

A lighter humorous approach might be a good start. Everyone will think this is a spoof.

But eventually people will become curious and visit a community website and find out that they have a voice and that they are being heard. That’s where Lenovo should be and talk about their outstanding products.

If Lenovo would publish videos along these lines I’d consider them a brand with personality.

You think this approach is crazy?
The video Bill Gates posted about his last day at Microsoft earned him more personality than his entire tenure at Microsoft before.

Final Notes
If anyone wants to sponsor the production of these videos we’d make them anyway;-)

Yes I know I am asking for “world revolution” here. But I am getting tired of how the whole world is looking the other way constantly.

I am a “tell it like it is” kind of guy. This means that I loose projects at times -  because I chose to. I am still being served at my favorite Chinese restaurant, though.

But that also allows me to throw myself behind the projects we end up doing with full force. Because I believe in them.

And yes, I am a total hypocrite since half of the stuff I buy is “Made in China”;-)

  1. One Response to “How could Lenovo have been more “Authentic”? A personal wish list of politically incorrect videos…”

  2. By Rohit on Jul 31, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Klaus,

    I posted a longer comment to your first post, but just wanted to return here too. I think that while your ideas might go quite viral, they do tend to focus on controversy at the expense of strategy. None are really on target with positioning Lenovo as a New World brand or with portraying a brand like it in a positive light. When it comes to marketing, I’d much rather see a brand focus on their positive attributes rather than talking about how much a competitor sucks.

    I agree wholeheartedly that having a sense of humor is really important. In fact, check out these videos to see how Lenovo does indeed have one and used it in the past: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MZmmv6h5oo

    I don’t think you necessarily need to do it at your own expense, though. There is a way to be funny and still be focused on a bigger strategy.

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