HP Helps Creative Professionals 'Power Up' at NY Event

Festival Is Part of 'Mac to Z' Campaign Promoting HP Workstations

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HP this week is hosting "Power Up," a five-day festival in New York aimed at creative professionals.

The event, which will feature keynote speakers from entertainment and media companies, workshops with partners, as well as creative competitions, is part of HP's broader "Mac to Z" campaign. The campaign launched in April and has the goal of getting creative professionals to switch from Mac PCs to HP Z workstations. The campaign was created by Doremus San Francisco, which is also helping HP produce the "Power Up" event with Bond Strategy and Influence, the lead agency for the festival.

"This is an influencer and community engagement campaign that pulls in our ambassadors, partners and channels in an integrated way," said Alyson Griffin, VP-worldwide marketing at HP, who has been with the company for 15 years. The campaign includes print, online, content and social media. The budget was undisclosed.

"This is very different from our typical IT campaigns, which use a 'hero' product approach, talking about the product specifications and how fantastic it is. That is not what this is about," Ms. Griffin said. "We wanted to see how we could make HP workstations and the power of our technology matter for a very specific customer base. We want to use their voice, their passions and their insights."

In developing the content for "Power Up," HP had conversations with more than 50 creative professionals in industries such as music, fashion, film and architecture, Ms. Griffin said.

"They didn't know HP could help them," she said. "They had a very positive sentiment toward the brand, but it didn't occur to them to add HP to their creative workflow."

The "Mac to Z" campaign is designed to show the benefits of HP workstations compared with Mac workstations from Apple. On the campaign website, for example, price comparisons show the HP Z420 workstation starting at $1,259.99, compared with the Mac Pro, starting at $2,999.99.

"We have created videos around how to switch with our partners, and our partners will be there doing sessions," Ms. Griffin said, pointing to technology partners including Adobe, Intel and Microsoft.

A key focus of the event is using HP "ambassadors" to influence their communities.

"There are a few key influential people in New York in the areas of music, fashion, film and architecture," Ms. Griffin said. "If we can help these ambassadors unlock their projects and arm them with the content, they can influence their networks."

Some of these ambassadors, who will be speaking at the event, include Kate Swanborg, head of technology communications and strategic alliances at DreamWorks Animation; Daniel Libeskind, principal architect at Studio Libeskind; and Thu Tran, creative director at Greencard Pictures.

In addition to providing educational sessions, "Power Up" will feature contests, such as a creative competition to develop a digital animation project, networking events and social media promotion.

"We will have our digital and social teams there to capture the content and feed the campaign moving forward," Ms. Griffin said. "This is all about the creative community and unlocking their passions."

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