Lenovo Late Night I.T. Season 2 pushed the boundaries on the technology content genre. During candid discussions and interviews, we went places no other brand has been willing to. And we talked about technology in a way viewers have never experienced. We developed the strategic vision for Season 2 by leveraging an IDG survey of IT decision-makers—which found that our customers were hungry for entertaining and informative content—as well as external insights about trends in content consumption and appeal.
Our Season 2 goals were to boost brand awareness and create thought leadership content that could stand out from a sea of sameness alongside our top tech competitors and to push the boundaries of Lenovo’s brand voice, visuals, and expertise. By focusing on humanizing information technology (IT), the show reflects what we care about most: bypassing the status quo to deliver solutions that directly improve the lives of technology users and our communities.
We launched on January 18, 2023, with evergreen media teasing the show- building up to a February 1 launch of the first two episodes. Key elements throughout the show’s run included: · Weekly two-episode drop on lenovolatenightit.cio.com · Email campaign · Social media and digital display ad campaign · Related content resources, including bonus clips and thought leadership assets tying Lenovo subject matter experts to each episode’s theme · Two-month run on Bloomberg TV We selected edgier topics, many of which stretched into domains beyond IT but which deeply affected ITDMs in their evolving role as changemakers in an organization. Season 2 covered mental health, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion within the tech space in addition to more technical subjects (e.g., the metaverse, blockchain, AI data). These episode topics covered more ground, appealing to a wider audience while also empowering ITDMs, the core audience, with a comprehensive look at rapidly evolving subject areas they’ll no doubt be asked about by their own stakeholders. For each episode, we brought in a diverse lineup of guests, aiming to engender a more robust conversation with perspectives unique to traditional technology circles (e.g., a DEI thought leader, chief sustainability officer, geo-economics professional). This allowed for valuable, fresh insights on these topics. Human-centered visuals and set design allowed guests to more organically engage with each other and our host, Baratunde Thurston. We established a visual identity from the very early stages and used that to guide our decision making throughout the whole process. This ensured we had a cohesive look from set design to the landing page and emails, from social media and display ads – even the guests’ wardrobe aligned with the new season’s visual identity. Playful, edgy copywriting and conversational language across the campaign in our episode titles, descriptions, headlines, and dialogue elevated the Lenovo brand voice in a new direction and acknowledged tech leaders as well as the everyday tech consumer. Lenovo Late Night I.T. is B2B, but the tone and voice of our copy ensured it didn’t feel like a corporation talking to another corporation. These are real people having real conversations. The creative reflected that.
Aiming for brand lift and video engagement, we focused on YouTube, Undertone, LinkedIn, CIO.com, and Meta. An email signup offered a valuable incentive for visitors to sign up for our email list, and they were sent new episode alert emails before each new episode dropped. The show was an avenue for smarter content marketing, so we also shared a variety of content related to each episode, such as bonus clips, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, an interview with host Baratunde Thurston, and articles about the IT industry featuring Lenovo subject matter expertise. Given the show’s online success, Bloomberg TV picked up Season 2 for a two-month run, widening our net of exposure and impact.
Our goals for this season were to raise brand awareness by providing valuable, smarter content marketing and achieve video engagement metrics that surpassed Season 1. We achieved both goals. With new episodes delivered once a week on YouTube and CIO.com, Season 2 received 83.5 million video views, as well as a 97% completion rate after airing on Bloomberg TV for two months. The 6:47min average per episode page also exceeded our season goal – surpassing Season 1’s time on page results. We also conducted an Undertone brand lift study to measure brand awareness. Our survey included 300 IT or business decision-makers at corporations with over 500 employees. Half of the group was exposed to a thirty-second trailer ad for Season 2. The results exceeded our expectations. The exposed group was 200% more likely to name Lenovo as a technology products and services company after watching the ad and showed a 23% increase in positive brand affinity. Also, 77% of respondents named Lenovo as the brand the ad was for, which is 7x higher than industry benchmark. Our organic social media viewer engagement also drove brand awareness. Here are some response quotes we saw online: · “I’m addicted to Lenovo Late Night I.T.” · “Big questions, Important Discussions #LenovoLateNightIT isn’t some goofy show that geeks out about technology. Sure there’s some of that. But it’s more about examining the big issues that face business and all of us today.” · “Respectful differing opinions, sharing solid ideas, at a fun speed with a sprinkle of levity.”