Hewlett-Packard puts e-services out in front

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Hewlett-Packard Co. today breaks the first in a series of new TV spots to support its e-services initiative, a cornerstone of the company's $200 million global brand push (AA, Nov. 22).

The TV effort will promote the marketer's e-services solutions for businesses and consumers. Creative ties into the company's overall "Invent" brand positioning. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, handles creative, while Saatchi & Saatchi is responsible for international markets and media buying.


The 30-second "Taxi" showcases the company's "apps on tap" solutions, with voice-over suggesting that businesses don't need to buy software applications when they can rent exactly what they need from Hewlett-Packard.

Another spot, slated to break May 15, talks about how small and bigger businesses can compete effectively in the e-services economy. Also due in mid-May, a spot targeting businesses as well as consumers with a message about printers and how they're appliances, and not merely beige boxes. The spot shows how a laser jet printer can be used for printing tickets, stamps, shipping labels and other materials.

"It's about printing as an e-service," said Julia Mee, brand ad manager for Hewlett-Packard. "We are uniquely positioned in that we do things that are relevant for consumers and businesses," she said. The spots will run in prime-time network, sports and cable programming through May and June, but may be extended through the summer.

Print ads trumpeting e-services began running in March in major newspapers and magazines (AA, March 20). Future print executions could feature Hewlett-Packard partner companies, Ms. Mee said.


Additionally, at least four new TV spots are planned to support Hewlett-Packard's consumer initiatives. Those spots, shot in New York and Italy, are due to run from May 15 through early June. "They'll talk about what some of our products and services are that can allow [consumers] to be inventive," Ms. Mee said. Topics include digital photography, music and printing. Newsweeklies, monthlies and major newspapers will feature consumer print executions that suggest how Hewlett-Packard can help people be creative. Internet advertising is expected later in the year.

The new push represents Hewlett-Packard's second year of e-services messaging, but the first under its new global brand positioning. The company has been late to the e-party, but has moved rapidly to catch up by evolving internally, and signing strategic partnerships to help it enhance its portfolio of services. CEO Carly Fiorina has been instrumental on both fronts.


Still, some observers say the company has a way to go.

"They're long on vision and short on implementation," said Van Baker, VP-consumer platforms and research, Dataquest.

"Plus, they seem to be going after some segments that some pretty entrenched competitors are going after."

Those include clients in the telecom sector, as well as Internet service providers and application service providers. IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. are among Hewlett-Packard's competitors.

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