Campaign of the Year: Goodby's HP Work Hammers the Personal Side of the PC

Celebs, Interactive, Promos get HP Past Boardroom Snag

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OK, it might be a little early to jump to the conclusion that HP stands for HiP, but "The computer is personal again" campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has made a splash.

So much so that not only is the campaign being credited with giving Hewlett-Packard Co. a slight lead in consumer-PC market share, but it's also said to have propelled the comeback of rapper Jay-Z.

The campaign's strategy centered on making PC stand once again for "personal computer" and not for what it had become-a "personal commodity" sold based on price and discounts, especially by HP rival, and longtime category leader, Dell.

Spearheading the campaign on the client side are former Apple Computer marketing executives Satjiv Chahil, now senior VP-worldwide marketing for HP's Personal Systems Group, and David Roman, VP-worldwide marketing communications in that group.

TV spots from San Francisco agency Goodby feature only the hands, midsections and computers of celebrities ranging from Jay-Z to the "Flying Tomato," Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, who takes photos of airline passengers sleeping, to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who sentimentally saves all the e-mails he's written, including one inviting his wife on their first date.

Goodby's campaign also included two programs. An interactive show titled "Change Artists" was targeted at business-to-business customers and centered on CEO interviews. The "Change Artists" effort also included promotions. Leads were up 70%-80% over the previous year, Mr. Roman notes.

The other program appeared on MTV. "Meet or Delete" used a dating-game format to determine whether a couple would get together based on the contents of their computer hard drives. The MTV program is running in 14 nations in nine languages, Mr. Roman says, noting, "It has become a valuable program for them."

The results: In the third quarter of 2006, according to IDC data, HP's market share rose to 27.7%, good enough to beat Dell's 25.1%.

Perhaps more importantly, Goodby's campaign has helped lift the company past the troubles resulting from an investigation into HP's tracking of a boardroom leak. "The impact is a lot less than it would have been," Mr. Roman says.

As for how cool HP is these days, Mr. Roman says: "We're getting cooler, but I wouldn't say we're cool."
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