1stAveMachine Directors Tomi Dieguez and Facu Labu Craft Abstract, Intriguing Optical Illusions in New Spots for IBM

1stAveMachine directors Tomi Dieguez and Facu Labo join forces with Ogilvy to bring their surrealist approach and renowned expertise in electric storytelling to a new project for multinational technology company IBM. Featuring in-camera optical illusions, the spot plays with text, space, and light to highlight the brand’s new approach to cyber security.

In promoting their enterprise security solutions, IBM wanted to express that successful security demands a perspective shift that includes a more holistic and integrated approach instead of a tool-by-tool approach. “Rather than creating a new or improved security tool that will just add more complexity to security systems, IBM wanted to convey that a change in our general outlook is more urgently necessary,” says director Tomi Dieguez. To signify this new perspective, 1stAveMachine used a variety of optical illusions as a powerful metaphor, reflecting the novelty of the message while avoiding additional complexity or introducing new systems. Text and shapes twist, turn, and reassemble in a series of scenes crafted to showcase the power of perspective.

The developmental process prior to shooting proved to be lengthy, with design initially incorporating graphical and abstract scenarios in 3D, before being built out with props and spaces. All of the illusions in the spots were shot practically with no post-production assistance. According to 1stAveMachine, this was the best way to approach something new and unseen. “Having reality as a limit but also as an inspiration was what really helped us to come up with these fresh optical tricks,” director Tomi Dieguez explains. “We used our camera as cinematically as we could but also as part of the scenes, part of the action.”

The noir-ish contrast of the spots, juxtaposing darkness with pops of light blue, acts as a visual metaphor for safety vs. threat and also works to convey that while security is a serious need, it doesn’t have to be scary proposition. “The overall look was meant to show that we are talking about security on a grand scale,” Dieguez explains. “Not your local coffee shop wifi password.” This dramatic feel helped support the idea that IBM’s new approach can protect corporations from hackers, leaks, or even digital terrorism, all very real problems in our digital age.

Creating the project was fast but smooth effort for 1stAveMachine, aided by the company’s trusted relationship with Ogilvy, marking another example of groundbreaking collaboration for the award-winning production company.


Client: IBM
Agency: Ogilvy
Production Company: 1stAveMachine
Partner/Executive Producer: Sam Penfield
Executive Producer: Michaela Mckee
Executive Producer: Peter Repplier
Executive Producer: Lisanne McDonald
Directors: Tomi Dieguez and Facu Labo
Director of Photography: Alan Badan
Producer: Petra Ahmann

Ogilvy Creative Department:
Jeff Curry: Executive Creative Director
George Tannenbaum: Executive Creative Director, Copy Chief
David Shin: Associate Creative Director
David Marino: Associate Creative Director
Eric Soloway: Executive Producer
Olivier Sentucq: Account Director
Alexa Dziak: Account Supervisor
Eva Augustyn: Group Planning Director, Planning
Sergio Navarro: Associate Director, Planning
Karl Westman: Director, Music Production


About 1stAveMachine:

1stAveMachine is a mixed media production company and storytelling outfit. They create video, digital, and experimental content for TV, print, web, and mobile, all with a unified singular vision. They have won numerous awards since their formation, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cannes Lions, AICP, One Show, and ANDY awards, and many others. Their work has been featured across the globe and during the Super Bowl, and their division 1stAve Content has been instrumental in pairing the perfect influencers and creators with agencies and brands.