One of the largest information technology companies in the world, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) was founded in 1888 and continues producing computer technology.
In 1965, IBM commissioned a series of industrial films from Jim Henson, who worked alongside IBM's film and television head, David Lazer. The films were a mixture of motivators and sales reels (spotlighting IBM's typewriters, early word processors, and other products) and comedic break shorts, intended as icebreakers during long meetings. A notable example of the latter is "Coffee Break Machine," in which a prototyped Cookie Monster consumes an exaggerated talking computer. These shorts in effect were the first Muppet Meeting Films, which would be made available to any corporate client; some of these later entries were direct remakes of the IBM shorts.
Rowlf the Dog films
Several of the 1966-1967 IBM industrial films, for internal use, featured Rowlf the Dog. One had Rowlf singing "My Way," as an early example of Rowlf playing the piano. Another featured Rowlf introducing IBM's new Hippie Products Division (HPD), including a complicated IBM electric guitar.
A more elaborate film, divided into three parts with a conclusion, has Rowlf joining IBM as a salescanine, to the surprise of the Office Products Division sales head ("What do you mean we hired a dog?") Rowlf recounts his business adventures in a letter to his mother, as typed on a succession of IBM typewriters. Rowlf struggles to make a sale (his ethics causing him to actively flee a customer who admitted to looking at another typewriter in a store window) but he remains optimistic and dogged. A series of commercial spoofs to sell IBM follow, directed by Rowlf himself, spoofing the campaigns of Doublemint, Timex, and Avon. Finally, Rowlf succeeds in meeting 100 percent quota and enjoys a trip to the 100 Percent Club gathering.
1967 film called The Paperwork Explosion directed by Jim Henson and featured no Muppets.