HIGH-STAKES TV CAMPAIGNS FUELING HITACHI, HP DRIVES;NOTEBOOK PCS POSITIONED FOR CONTROL;SAATCHI TRIES HUMOR TO PITCH PAVILION

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Newcomer Hitachi PC Corp. and up-and-comer Hewlett-Packard Co. both hit the TV airwaves with new personal-computer campaigns this week.

Hitachi PC, a startup venture of Japanese giant Hitachi, targets the high-end notebook PC business market with a $12 million buy over the next year-$4 million to $5 million for TV and the rest for print, outdoor and airport terminal ads.

APPLE VET AIDS HITACHI

Seiniger Advertising Group, Beverly Hills, Calif., did the creative, led by Executive Creative Director Robert Chandler, a veteran of Apple Computer advertising. Western International Media Corp., West Hollywood, handles media.

Hitachi will stage an initial one-month flight of two 30-second spots on cable and in major spot markets along with a series of three-page ads and spreads in computer, business and upscale consumer publications.

With the theme of "Remote control," Hitachi positions its notebooks as the way for people to remain in control when they are away. One of the two spots shows a prisoner running his outside business from his cell. "You've got mail," chimes in the computer voice known to America Online users.

$15 MILLION BUDGET

Hewlett-Packard is expected to spend $15 million to $20 million on the first campaign for the Pavilion home PC, a hot seller since its launch last year on the basis of aggressive pricing, strong distribution and in-store promotion.

The Pavilion ads were done on a project basis by Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, San Francisco (AA, May 27). Work was overseen by Saatchi's new co-creative directors, Mike Mazza, formerly of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Steve Silver, formerly of Hal Riney & Partners.

Saatchi is gunning to keep the business, though computer watchers think Hewlett-Packard will move Pavilion to Goodby, which just won Hewlett-Packard's $40 million printer account from Saatchi.

Hewlett-Packard's campaign uses the tagline, "It's not just a PC. It's an HP." In one 30-second spot, a portly man scans in his photo so he can retouch it. In a second spot, a little girl scans in a photo of her brother in boxer shorts and sends it to his girlfriend. Hewlett-Packard will run the ads on cable TV and in 24 spot markets. Print starts in July.

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