Techies In Advertising: Hits & Misses - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
10/7/2014
08:00 AM
Ellis Booker
Ellis Booker
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
RSS
E-Mail

Techies In Advertising: Hits & Misses

Advertising didn't always treat IT professionals with much respect, but that's changing. Hapless techies are out; superhero product placements are in.
2 of 7

UNIVACThis UNIVAC TV commercial, which aired on CBS in February 1956, is one of the first on-camera appearances of IT professionals. Among the first computers sold commercially, the UNIVAC was manufactured by Remington Rand and later the Univac division of Sperry Rand. Notice the three no-nonsense, heads-down programmers, working with paper printouts. Like every other male office worker in the 1950s, thin ties and jackets were the mandatory uniform. Also notice the cool animation in this early ad:

UNIVAC
This UNIVAC TV commercial, which aired on CBS in February 1956, is one of the first on-camera appearances of IT professionals. Among the first computers sold commercially, the UNIVAC was manufactured by Remington Rand and later the Univac division of Sperry Rand. Notice the three no-nonsense, heads-down programmers, working with paper printouts. Like every other male office worker in the 1950s, thin ties and jackets were the mandatory uniform. Also notice the cool animation in this early ad:

2 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JimC
50%
50%
JimC,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2014 | 7:07:56 AM
Omitted Great Commercial
Although it was a FedEx 30-second commercial, the depiction of a stereotypical IT subject matter expert (Carl the best presentation guy) was hilarious.  Going back to late '09 or early '10, who remembers these lines?  "Wait, you didn't actually bring Carl with you..."  Now picture Carl seated in the client's conference room saying, "Good morning!  But I digress..."  As a former programmer, I found that clip especially amusing.
PedroGonzales
50%
50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2014 | 1:44:55 PM
Re: I resemble that remark!
I really liked the Windows vs Mac commercials.  I enjoyed the idea that folks working at Microsoft were uptight and serious in comparison to Apple.  By looking at all the TV ads, there are some stereotypes that never die.     
TerryB
100%
0%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2014 | 1:11:42 PM
Re: I resemble that remark!
I would have agreed with you until late last year when I managed to go to work wearing one year old grass stained tennis shoe and one of my brand new tennis shoes. And didn't even notice until about 11am that morning.

But they looked good under my fluorescent lighting in my office.....
Somedude8
IW Pick
100%
0%
Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
10/7/2014 | 11:46:37 AM
I resemble that remark!
"Little known fact: Not all programmers are socially awkward, poorly dressed dweebs working under fluorescent lights."

Thank you! I haven't worked under flouresscent lights in years.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/7/2014 | 9:25:44 AM
Sprint Pin Drop
This doesn't really fit your slideshow because it was a technology, not technologists, but I always thought Sprint did a great job of selling fiber optic networks with its "Pin Drop" commercials, back in the 1980s.

Commentary
Get Your Enterprise Ready for 5G
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Modern App Dev: An Enterprise Guide
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  1/5/2020
Slideshows
9 Ways to Improve IT and Operational Efficiencies in 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/2/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll