No Doubt About HP's $300 Million Paper Chase

Printer Maker's Push Urges DIYers to Craft Scrapbooks, Gwen Stefani Paper Dolls

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Forget the paperless world.

Hewlett-Packard today breaks a $300 million global ad campaign aimed at getting consumers to better use the web to custom-produce everything from invitations and greeting cards to concert souvenir books -- and, of course, print them using HP products.
One of HP's 'Gwen Stefani For You' greeting cards.
One of HP's 'Gwen Stefani For You' greeting cards.

Gwen Stefani
The campaign, tagged "What do you have to say?" is intended to drive consumers to, where they can mix and mash up their photos and messages with other content, such as a "Gwen Stefani For You" collection of CD covers, greeting cards and Japanese-inspired paper dolls. Consumers also can put their individual photos into a souvenir book from Ms. Stefani's current "Sweet Escape" tour.

For small businesses, or for anyone looking for do-it-yourself stationery, a section of the HP website offers graphic designer Paula Scher's templates for business cards and letterheads. The site also features snowboard company founder Jake Burton offering advice on how to build a business, including marketing tips.

Like retailer Target, which brings in artists to add a gloss of high design to everyday objects from baby bottles to toasters, HP will add new designers and artists (and things to do) to its repertoire over time. Most of the program is free to consumers -- except the printers and printing supplies.

"We are focusing on what the end result is rather than hardware products," said Kathy Stromberg, VP-marketing, HP's printing and imaging group, Americas.

The campaign is integrated with traditional print and TV spots with Ms. Stefani and Mr. Burton starting Sept. 6. The campaign also includes HP's first wikis, an online community for consumers (and a second for businesses) to share ideas.

Hallmark's turf
In October, HP moves into Hallmark turf with the launch of the HP Studio, free online templates and designs for greeting cards, invitations and other stationery-store standbys. A mobile component involves a Times Square billboard where consumers can text to receive Ms. Stefani's paper dolls. Another high-tech execution involves five interactive and touchable walls at the Las Vegas airport, where light images on a wall are moved around by the touch of passers-by.

The campaign is the culmination of an integrated HP strategy to make web-based printing simpler than before and to build itself as not just a computer manufacturer, but a next-generation printing platform. "We're looking at platforms that cross into the enterprise space, the high-end graphic arts, every venue where customers are going to want to create and publish that digital content," said Ms. Stromberg.

Of course, greeting cards and invitations are often sent digitally. But HP believes that there's still a big growth opportunity for paper as consumers do more creative scrapbooking and rely on the more personal printed touch for things such as wedding invitations.

In 2005, HP estimates that 45 trillion pages were printed out worldwide. It says that number is expected to shoot up by 2010 to some 53 trillion pages, about 10% of them greeting cards, art reproduction and various types of signs.

"Of all the digital pages that exist in the world, there's a large opportunity for them," said Steve Simpson, partner, at HP agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

Revenue driver
HP has been in deals to make its images and printing group, which accounts for about one-third of the company's revenue, into a powerhouse for desktop publishers. It recently acquired Tabblo, Logoworks and Snapfish, and is in partnerships with Staples Copy & Print Centers.

The ad campaign breaks today as HP rolls out a number of new printers and products, such as a photo-book kit for editing and printing scrapbooks using inkjet printers. The launch includes new printers aimed at small- and medium-size businesses.
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