Lenovo puts IT security on the late night guest couch

Lenovo, IDG publications and ClickOn worked on the program. Zeno Group is Lenovo’s PR AOR.

Baratunde Thurston stars in Late Night IT.
Baratunde Thurston stars in Late Night IT.

MORRISVILLE, NC: Cybersecurity. Ransomware. AI. Green IT. Comedy? 

Technology giant Lenovo is trying to bridge the gap between these thorny IT security issues and knee-slapping entertainment in its Late Night IT campaign, which aims to refit complicated technical topics into a more digestible format.

Lenovo built a garage in Van Nuys, California, for a video studio to create an original, unfiltered chat show about the hottest IT topics, with Emmy-nominated host Baratunde Thurston. 

Hosted on a CIO magazine site, the videos aim to replace white papers by giving information to Lenovo’s primary audience, IT decision-makers, in a more entertaining and livelier way. 

The hardware-maker found that marketers dump a lot of content on IT decision-makers, said a Lenovo spokesperson. The company defined decision makers as teams who make IT and business decisions for organizations with more than 500 employees who are critical to technology, infrastructure and workplace decisions.

“As a result, an overwhelming majority of these decision makers, 90%, find it challenging to locate enough high-quality and trusted content,” said the spokesperson. “They also feel the content they come across contains too many empty buzzwords, dry and irrelevant content, and a lack of truly independent, unbiased information.”

This motivated Lenovo to create the video series Lenovo Late Night IT to help these decision makers, who are also current and potential customers, do their jobs. Realizing business audiences are turning to different sources to get information they need, Lenovo branched out with this approach.

“The series shares information that they can apply to situations they encounter on the job every day,” the spokesperson said. “There is an opportunity for the industry to make complex business technology more approachable since it impacts not only an individual business today but also our broader society.”

Late Night IT was created by Lenovo, CIO parent company IDG publications as insights partner and ClickOn Media as creative and production partner. Zeno Group is its PR AOR. Zeno’s team on the account includes Monica Walsh, head of integrated communications; Austin Tancredi, VP; Emily Baker, account supervisor; and Lane McCurley, senior account executive.

Lenovo’s worldwide brand team, led by Quinn O’Brien, VP, WW brand and marketing; Sandeep Vasudevan, executive director, WW brand; and Priyanka Nayak, director, WW brand, conceived of the program’s concept.

Shows have covered topics such as cybersecurity, ransomware, green IT, flexible workspaces, edge computing and AI. Guests have included IT experts, chief information security officers, analysts, authors, behavioral scientists and innovation advocates.  

Traded on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Lenovo reported net income of $512 million, up 65% over the prior year, in its Q2, and group revenue of $17.9 billion, up 23%. 

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