HP Pushes Reinvention In Thanksgiving Day Spot

Global Campaign Aims To Return Tech Titan to Its Roots

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The "Invent" company is trying to reinvent itself.

For more than a decade, technology titan Hewlett Packard has usually been in media headlines for something other than innovation. Hit in recent years by a rotating slate of CEOs and a relative dearth of hot new products, the company has been unable to reignite the success it once had.

Earlier this month, HP officially split into two companies: HP Enterprise, which sells hardware and software for businesses and HP Inc., which sells personal computers and printers. The split marks a new era for HP, which was famously born in a garage and adopted the "Invent" tagline in 1999. HP is setting the tone for that era with a global rebranding effort themed "Keep reinventing" that includes a new spot (above) breaking on Thanksgiving.

The video produced by 180 LA, pulls on the viewer's heartstrings as a father and son put together hundreds of images by using an HP printer to wish a mother good luck right before a big career move.

That agency, along with other HP shops BBDO and Gyro, have been working closely with Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio, who admits that moving a company the size of HP in a new direction has its share of obstacles. "Everybody thinks their ideas is the best idea," Mr. Lucio said. "But to create something that is meaningful enough that everybody is able to agree with, and when you are doing that at scale, is a dramatic challenge for any marketer."

Mr. Lucio said the company worked with 10,000 of its employees to create a new mission statement, "Create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere."

But an important target will be what he called the "older millennial," which represents 46% of all IT decision makers and within 10 years will represent 60% of those buyers, according to Mr. Lucio.

"They believe they can reinvent and live through technology," he said. "Through that particular target and with that insight, we changed our operation. This is where the keep reinventing concept came out of."

But the tagline isn't aimed just externally; it's intended to mobilize the company's workforce internally. "Obviously, HP Is a huge organization and people at the company knew the split was coming so they weren't sure how it was going to affect them," 180 LA's global chief strategy officer Mike Harris said.

Martin Kihn, research director at Gartner, likes likes what HP is doing with "Keep reinventing," but added that past decisions the company made might get in the way.

"The internal feuding has hampered its research and development from the marketing side," Mr. Kihn said of the $50 billion behemoth with more than 50,000 employees. "The marketing tech players are expanding increasingly to advertising, data management platforms. HP has not done that, but there is room for them to get involved."

In HP's most recent fiscal quarter ended Aug. 20 (before the split), net revenue fell 8% to $25.2 billion compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue dropped for personal services, printing services, enterprise services and software. HP spent $129 million in U.S. measured spending last year, according to Kantar Media.

It's clear rallying the troops internally is only half the battle, as the company still needs to connect with its consumers who may have forgotten about them in a world filled with Apple, Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft products.

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