HP Aims to 'Reinvent' Gift Giving This Holiday Season

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HP, hoping to bank on a strong holiday season after edging out Lenovo as the No. 1 computer manufacturer, tugs at the heart strings (again) in new work for its "Keep Reinventing" campaign.

The long-form video, dubbed "Reinvent Giving," breaks Monday night. It was created by BBDO San Francisco and directed by Sara Dunlop (whose work includes the award-winning short film, "Dreamlands"). Dunlop was selected through the Free the Bid initiative, the industry-wide effort, launched in September 2016, that aims to level the playing field for female directors.

BBDO and HP are among those who have given the Free to Bid "pledge" to include a female director on every triple-bid project, among other things.

The effort "is part of our DNA," says Matt Cowling, head of global marketing at HP Inc. "We just don't talk about it, but every agency we work with knows that an equal number of bids have to come from Free the Bid." Cowling adds that HP's last two campaigns included women directors.

HP says its recent win in market share has a lot to do with how it targets millennials, which it says yearn for something other than "predictability and sameness." It's more likely, however, that HP's success has to do with investing in and creating innovative premium products.

Cowling says the premium strategy is working. "It's something that we are going to see more and more of" from HP, he says.

The company's latest spot—part of a HP global campaign now in year two—features HP's new Spectre hybrid laptop, which it dubs the world's thinnest. The computer, which carries a sticker price of about $1,600, is used by a young woman to design and print invitations she sends to neighbors (one of whom includes an old man who makes wooden marionette puppets)—all in an effort to brighten a little girl's day.

The approximately two-minute video is set to appear both online and on broadcast TV. For the latter, it will be cut down to 30-seconds and air during shows including "Jimmy Fallon," "The Daily Show," "Saturday Night Live" and "NBA on ESPN."

In 2015, HP officially split into two companies: HP Enterprise, which sells hardware and software for businesses, and HP Inc., which sells personal computers and printers. The split marked a new era for HP—famously born in a Palo Alto, California, garage—that adopted the "Invent" tagline in 1999.

In its most recent quarter, the company posted revenue of $13 billion, up 10 percent year-over-year. Net revenue from its computer business was also up 12 percent to $8.4 billion when compared with the same period last year.

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