It should come as no surprise that clients "go dark" (this is an ad term for stop their advertising) during a down economy. This fight or flight mentality is that of human nature. Not many of us wait around to turn the other cheek. But other clients, brave clients, know that it's always darkest before the dawn and during this time your light will be seen as the way. What?
Meaningful advertising is hard to come by, let's face it. We're more often than not simply trying to convince you that you need something that you most certainly can live without. Often industries such as travel, luxury, real estate, try to keep even keel knowing that if they don't their competitors most certainly will.
In the case of IBM however looked at a much bigger vision. To embrace not only rebranding themselves as innovators but making themselves "human" again. After years of spending millions of dollars to create computers to beat Russian Chess champions, let's face it, IBM was looking a bit grotesque. They not only sought to reconstruct their brand and be more approachable, but literally to be seen as a necessity within the state of a downturn economic climate. Advertising that prays on the fears of the unknown and how they (insert savvy client) can help make it wonderful once again. If you've got the captail, and the stones, to play at this level you will win in the end.