We pushed things to the extreme, but there was always an element of truth and relatability to our stories because ThinkPads are designed for real people, with real problems.
There are good commercial reasons for Lenovo’s focus on toughness but until users see this as a relatable benefit to them, it’s not a compelling proposition. Our assignment was to find a creative way to make Lenovo’s product benefit of durability matter.
The Creative Solution
We chose to ground the concept in real, relatable, human stories — by focusing on the actual ways our devices get abused day in and day out. We pushed things to the extreme while maintaining an element of truth and relatability to our stories because ThinkPads are designed for real people with real problems.
To bring the concept to life, we worked with the world champion beatboxer Rahzel and produced an original track and video that played on a single ThinkPad as it went through a range of torture tests.
The idea was to beat up a Laptop. To the Beats of the Godfather of Noise: Rahzel.
Starting from the Rahzel video that we shot with him in-studio, Versus constructed a narrative that was paced and timed to his beat, which was playing on the Thinkpad’s screen throughout the film. His original song was the skeleton for the spot’s overall rhythm and structure, with the breakdown of this timing forming the foundation of the whole journey to come for the Thinkpad.
In order to achieve a seamless experience, our series required exhaustive pre-production testing. Each test we conceived needed to speak to specific product capability, from withstanding heat or cold, to moisture, dust, or falling. These scenarios were workshopped until we landed on the nine events in our story, all of which were shot over the course of two days. With each shot the product’s position needed to be perfectly aligned at the same place for the intro and outro of each scene, with incoming and outgoing shots between each scene having the feel of a well-choreographed relay race. Knowing this, scenes were plotted and shot sequentially so that we were easily able to adjust every hookup moment. Additionally, Versus used on-set stop-motion software to preview the transitions of each scene in real time. Like peeling onion skin, this allowed us to view an outgoing shot over the incoming one so that we could then make any needed adjustments.
In the end, we had a music video and product demo in one. The music never stopped and neither did the ThinkPad.
We reached over 2.5M people and achieved over 1M reactions, comments and shares. This video was the first of its kind for Lenovo’s internet decision maker community and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
*To its credit, no matter how hard we tried, not one Thinkpad broke over the course of pre-production and shooting.