Welcome to our virtual museum of ThinkPad print ads, part of our celebration of 20 years of the iconic laptop. We'll promise to go easy on the words and let these images speak for themselves. We begin with two ads from 1992, the year ThinkPad made its debut. One features the ThinkPad 300 and the other has the 700c. I like the swagger in these despite the fact that IBM had no earthly idea how successful this little laptop was about to be.
A 1993 ad chose to focus on ThinkPad’s most distinctive design element: the nub, the pointing stick, the TrackPoint.
Literary aspirations came calling for this 1994 ThinkPad 360 ad featuring writer John Grisham.
This black-and-white newspaper ad from 1997 trumpeted a special deal—$400 off the ThinkPad 380!
This one from 1999 is a personal fave, with special art done by Ralph Steadman, the Gonzo partner-in-crime to legendary lunatic writer Hunter S. Thompson.
Another one (we think) from 1999—this was designed to appeal to marketers the world over. Thanks to Lenovo Insiders Matthew and Ryan for helping me identify this as a ThinkPad 600—does anyone out there agree or disagree with that assessment?
By 2004, security had become a major issue in the cyberworld—this ad for ThinkPad T42 reflects that.
Fast-forward to 2011 and we see our first ad from the Lenovo (post-IBM) era of ThinkPad. I like this one because it not only features the ThinkPad X1, it integrates what was then our brand new campaign, “For Those Who Do.”
We close with this nice one from earlier this year—a typically aggressive presentation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Lighter, thinner, stronger and just plain cool in my book. A worthy ThinkPad to carry on the proud tradition of 20 great years.
Gavin O'Hara is Global Publisher for Lenovo Social Media.