Programming Ad Ideas
© 25 May 2012 Luther Tychonievich
Licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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Some ideas inspired by Lucy Sanders at NCWIT.


In her opening remarks at the annual summit of the national center for women in technology (NCWIT, pronounced “‍en see wit‍”) Lucy Sanders made a comment which I paraphrase as “‍Computer Science rules the world. The world just doesn’t know it yet.‍” This statement inspired me with a series of new programming add ideas to compliment those mentioned a year ago.

Because I would love for these ideas to be used by anyone, the following ad ideas are released into the public domain to be modified, extended, and used freely with or without attribution.

“‍I know a Secret‍”

A series of half a dozen random people in random scenes looking at the camera and saying “‍I know a secret‍”; then a blank screen and a voice that whispers “‍Computer Scientists rule the world.‍”

To be fully effective, this should be a large enough campaign to become a meme.

Computers Everywhere

Image of some random device: coffee maker, wristwatch, car, etc.; then it all goes transparent except the computer chips inside it. Repeat with different device. Tagline: “‍Computing runs the world.‍”

Variants might include the ipod-like silhouettes with only the chips in white or other forms of visual highlighting.

The problem with this approach is that chips are very small. How can we make it clear what is being shown? Voiceover “‍object X: Y computer chips‍”, perhaps?


Image of an iceberg, labeled “‍the world you see‍” or “‍business management‍” or something—I haven’t thought of the right label here yet. Then pan down to show the submerged part of the iceberg, which is labeled “‍computing‍”.

Word Extraction

Clips of various bigwigs making decisions, board members making pitches, etc. Every time they say a word that implies computing, that word appears in the air and hovers there as they speak. “‍Simulations have shown that…‍”, “‍Statistical analysis demonstrates…‍”, “‍As you’ll see from this false-color photograph…‍”, etc. Once the screen is pretty well filled with these words, tagline: “‍Computing runs the world.‍”

By the Numbers

Display various statistics that demonstrate pervasiveness of computing. Simply a list of companies and the number of computing employees they have may be enough. Perhaps something like “‍Fortune 500 company with fewest computing employees: name, number.‍” BLS statistics about how job openings in computing exceed all other STEM fields combined. Etc.


Bigwigs moving about; pan up to show they are marionettes with computers holding the strings. Tagline: “‍computers rule the world.‍” Pan farther up to show the computers are marionettes with people holding the strings. Tagline: “‍Seize control. Learn to program.‍”

Lucy Sanders may have been in jest when she made the comment, but she was right. It is hard to imagine a major decision made in the past twenty years without computer programs being one of the main contributers to the conversation. It is also almost certain that none of the impact some self-taught hacker’s code had on their final decision was realized by the human decision makers or the original hacker. The secret is kept not just from the world but also the programmers.

Computers rule the world. It’s time you learned to rule the computers.

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