IBM and SpecialGuest Ads Pitch STEM Training to Underrepresented Communities

A new national social media campaign from IBM is building awareness of their free education program IBM SkillsBuild. Developed jointly with the creative agency SpecialGuest, this campaign centers around a personality quiz where potential learners can find out their Tech Type. 

While the quiz is designed for broad appeal and ongoing usage at, IBM is specifically seeking to reach underrepresented communities in STEM with an initial kick-start across major social channels, working with specific creators on TikTok and Instagram such as Zahra Hashimee and Astro Alexandra. The posts consist of influencers taking the quiz, reacting to their Tech Type, and pointing to the learning opportunities offered by IBM SkillsBuild. With an initial wave of 11 influencers, every content partner is a member of an underrepresented community in STEM, underscoring IBM’s effort to increase representation in STEM fields. 

In addition to influencers, the campaign incorporates IBMers as role models to react to both the influencer posts and the quiz itself. A key learning during the creation of this campaign was that “I don’t know where to begin” can mean something very different depending on who you’re speaking to. 

Some are simply unsure what resources are available, while others doubt they even have a place in the industry, often stemming from a perceived misalignment between their interests and available STEM pursuits. 

IBMer role models, also all members of historically underrepresented communities in tech, standing as an example of those succeeding in STEM. They show that STEM careers are not just for those with highly technical engineering and coding skills, and reinforce that creative and collaborative individuals can be major contributors in STEM organizations. 

The campaign seeks to prove through these posts and the quiz itself, that everyone has a Tech Type, and STEM needs their voice.