IBM: Reflection and celebration

Text100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes considers our 17-year relationship with IBM and reflects on what has (and hasn’t) changed in that time

Text100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes considers our 17-year relationship with IBM and reflects on what has (and hasn’t) changed in that time

We recently shared with our teams around the world the news that Text100 would be stepping away from our 17-year relationship with IBM. It wasn’t an easy choice for any of us to make, including me.

I have been privileged to lead our partnership with IBM from the first pitch, almost a generation ago. Winning IBM was a seminal moment for Text100. We’ve been proud of the work and the relationships that have played an important role in the growth of Text100. There is so much to celebrate as both Text100 and IBM look ahead to bright futures.

Seventeen years ago, IBM had a vision to consolidate its network of more than 50 agencies. Text100 was a much smaller London-based agency with a high-energy team of people in then-fledgling offices around the world. But we had a few daring ideas,  along with a plan to take on one of the largest corporations in the world.

Bold beginnings

It was bold for us to pitch IBM. It was also a bold move for IBM to take us on. But we had faith in each other and in the power of our ideas. Over the years, hundreds of Texties and IBMers partnered on some of the most recognized – and honored – communications programs in our industry.

From OnDemand, to Smarter Planet, to IBM Watson, the entire IBM communications team set a high standard for our industry.

I’m grateful to Jon Iwata, IBM’s now-retired Chief Brand Officer & Senior Vice President, who believed in us from the start. I’m incredibly proud of our long relationships with IBMers such as David Yaun, Ed Barbini and Didier Barbé. They, and so many others, were incredible partners in this journey. I’m thankful for their support and friendship.

It’s not a stretch to say that IBM has touched the lives of most Texties over the last seventeen years. It started with the members of the original pitch team, all dressed in black. People like Tim Dyson, Georg Kolb and Matthew Ravden.

It was carried forward by some of the longtime leaders of our global program, Scott Friedman, Steve Foley, Cecile Missildine, Lauren Dolezal and countless others. Our generation-long partnership took us around the world, from the USA to Australia, Mumbai and Munich, along with many places in-between.

Change

Upon reflection, so much has changed over the years. Text100 has grown into a fully integrated marketing communications agency, doing inspiring work for many of the world’s most important brands. We’ve embraced digital transformation to change the way we work. We’re helping our clients to find and communicate their purpose in a world that’s moving faster than ever.

What hasn’t changed is this: The bold spirit that led us to take on the challenge of IBM 17 years ago is still at the heart of what we do. High energy, global cohesion and a passion for technology are all still central to our culture. Today we call it being Wired Differently, and it leads to a bright future ahead.

We’re equally bullish on the future for IBM. It will continue to be an iconic brand, shaping the world as it has for more than 100 years. We’re proud to have played a small part in its history.

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