"This will be the broadest and widest effort at coordination and kind of a common focus that's ever been accomplished at HP," said Brian Burch, worldwide consumer brand manager. "What we seek to do . . . is to create a broad umbrella that all of our divisions can use unilaterally to unify us."
HP has hired Young & Rubicam's Landor Associates to work on a sweeping brand project. Over the next 12 months, Mr. Burch said, Landor will work with HP agencies responsible for consumer products to develop a "brand statement" that could last for decades.
HP, he explained, is seeking its version of General Electric Co.'s "We bring good things to life."
The desire to focus communication conceivably could lead to agency consolidation of the divisions' consumer products.
"It would probably be better to have [home PC and home printer advertising] done by one agency," though "it's possible we would continue to use multiple ad agencies," said Chris Pedersen, worldwide brand manager for Pavilion.
But given the divisions' long-standing independence, consumer communication may continue through multiple shops.
"The desire to consolidate [shops] is not widely felt at HP," said Mr. Burch, who hired Saatchi when he had Mr. Pedersen's post. "In fact, our desire is to focus and to do that in a consistent fashion, working with our multiple partners."
Mr. Pedersen noted he's more concerned that HP speak with "one voice" to consumers than whether campaigns come from multiple agencies.
THEME LINE BY 4TH QTR?
While HP ideally would like to have the theme ready for fourth-quarter campaigns, the work may not be ready then, Mr. Burch said.
Initially, divisions will implement the new theme line using existing ad budgets. Longer term, Mr. Burch said, HP may add a separate brand campaign tying together all consumer offerings.
With its focus on quality product and service, HP has built a powerful name without investing in the corporate brand efforts that have swept the computer industry.
It's No. 1 in the U.S. home market for printers and scanners, and it ranks third to fifth-depending on the survey-in home PCs, a relatively new area for the