Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Cootchy Cootchy Coo

with one comment

Puppies and babies.  You just can never go wrong with puppies and babies.

Once upon a time I worked on IBM’s corporate marketing team handling our Internet advertising, and as much of an Internet geek as I was, I always loved our television spots.

But a new spot made in partnership with Ogilvy and Mather and Motion Theory simply takes one’s breath away.

Entitled simply “Data Baby,” the new 30 second spot uses a combination of live action (babies!) and “generative art” to demonstrate the data opportunity presented in monitoring a newborn’s vital signs.  In turn, the visualization helps demonstrate how IBM technologies help analyze data to make for smarter healthcare.

Me, I just want to tickle the little baby!  Cootchy cootchy coo!

The story behind the story makes pivot tables seem primative by comparison.  And, in fact, no spreadsheets were harmed in the making of this TV spot…babies, either.

To pull off the visuals, the team built custom code to translate spreadsheets of raw data derived from a newborn’s respiratory, heart rate, blood pressure, EKG oxygen saturation, and temperature readings into “motion paths,” paths which move and evolve design elements organically across image sequences.

Think baby visuals.

As Motive Theory’s web site explains, “In the spot, patterns gently float up in-frame, seemingly from the surface of a newborn baby resting in a neonatal ward. Ethereal CG life patterns, fractal-like shapes and other visual expressions flow upwards to form a stylized mobile that is captured as a reflection in the baby’s eye. These beautiful design elements warmly envelop the baby, delivering an authentic visual representation of the myriad pieces of data made available to doctors with the help of IBM technology. This is data, as the spot conveys, that helps doctors treat babies more effectively and build smarter hospitals.”

Yeah yeah…look at the cute little baby…cootchy cootchy coo!

Enough of my description — watch the spot and see for yourself.

I got to hear about the story behind the story last October at the IBM Information on Demand event when we heard directly from an Australian researcher who partnered with IBM Research to help investigate this “stream computing” opportunity.

The techniques being developed have the potential to save young lives around the globe, and in the process help the medical profession get smarter about treating and preventing infant death syndrome and other infant-related medical problems.

Of course, the data and visualizations are one source of inputs.  But there’s nothing like hearing from the youngsters directly themselves as to what they thought of the commercial-making experience.

I’ll leave you with them for now…but don’t say I didn’t warn you when you break out into your own “Cootchy Cootchy Coos.”

Written by turbotodd

March 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

One Response

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  1. Very cool! I haven’t seen this on tv yet. It does look amazing.

    Valerie Skinner

    March 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm


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