Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Lenovo and Durham-based ad agency McKinney have teamed up to tout fast startup technology for Lenovo’s computer lineup – with one laptop’s existence at stake.

Titled “Boom or Bust,” the new advertising campaign includes the dropping of a laptop – strapped to a parachute – from a plane at an altitude of 12,500 feet. An accompanying skydiver turns on the PC then fades away.

Using Lenovo’s “RapidBoot” technology, the machine has 10 seconds to boot up – or else.

“We’re on a mission to shorten boot times for consumers with RapidBoot technology,” says Lenovo’s Kristy Fair, who works in global media relations. “It boots a PC in as fast as 10 seconds – the fastest boot up time on the market – saving plenty of time and frustration.”

To back its claim, Lenovo worked with McKinney on the new campaign that launched on Wednesday.

Fair calls the campaign a “wild reality challenge.”

(By the way, the filming was not a one-and-done process. ”The team did 10 jumps and filmed various parts of the laptop booting up, the program doing its thing, the disc ejecting to trigger the deployment of the parachute,” Fair said. “Two laptops bit the dust, but not due to the boot-up or program. It was a parachute malfunction.”)

A “cheesy” commercial?

Not everyone likes the ad, however.

“Lenovo Gets Their “Boot or Bust” Commercial All Wrong,” says a post at Gizmodo.

“By the end of the clip, I wonder ‘What if that parachute failed?’ or ‘Imagine if it just fell out of its harness.’ Then I laugh. Because that’s something I want to see,” wrote Kwame Opam at Gizmodo.

The writer dismisses the ad as “cheesy to boot.”

Pun intended?

More of the “For Those Who Do” campaign

The parachute drop is the latest in Lenovo’s recently launched “For Those Who Do” overall marketing campaign. Lenovo launched a new logo and advertising as part of an effort to increase sales in consumer segments. The company is growing rapidly worldwide but is still known primarily for its business products. It now has more than 10 percent global market share, ranking behind HP, Dell and Acer respectively.

To broaden its reach, Lenovo recently launched a joint venture with NEC in Japan and is in the process of buying the largest PC manufacturer in Germany.

Lenovo, which operates its headquarters in Morrisville but bases most of its operations and does the majority of its business in China, is targeting younger PC buyers with the new ads. Jeff Meredith, vice president of mature markets for Lenovo, told AdAge that Lenovo wants 18-to-24 year-olds who “technology influencers and we think our marketing and advertising will appeal to a generation that’s very interested in using technology to accomplish. That’s the age demographic, but the mindset demographic is really this ‘do’ mind-set symbolized by a desire to use technology for achievement.”

At McKinney, creative director Jonathan Cude said the new ad will appeal to a broad audience as well as younger people. The ad “speaks to doers and doing,” he told the publication.

Software on the PC had to be written to tell the chute to open.

Watch the Lenovo video here.

The parachute drop is the latest in Lenovo’s recently launched “For Those Who Do” overall marketing campaign.

Read about the campaign here.

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