Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Tech Titan HP Created Campaigns That Got the World’s Attention

HP has become one of the most recognizable tech brands in the world.

In fact, Forbes notes that it is now worth $13.2 billion!

How did it become a powerful tech titan? In part, through innovative marketing campaigns that got the world’s attention.

1. #BendTheRules  – collaborated with Meghan Trainor and social media stars

HP launched the award-winning #BendTheRules campaign to promote its Pavilion x360. For the campaign, it partnered with pop star Meghan Trainor to create the music video for her single “Lips Are Movin.”

To create the video, the brand assembled a team of social superstars to work as actors, dancers, set designers, makeup artists, photographers, stylists and choreographers. The star-studded list includes designer Bri Emery, American actors Marcus Johns, Cody Johns, and Robby Ayala, French dancers Les Twins, Spanish stylist Sara Escudero, American hair stylist Kristin Ess, Japanese nail artist Mei Kawajiri, and the world’s most famous Pomeranian, Barkley the Pom among many others. Together these stars had a combined audience of almost 30 million.

Each of them used HP’s Pavilion x360 laptop to make their creative ideas come to life. They used the brand’s technology to conceptualize the choreography, makeup, set design and a lot more! They were also encouraged to document their own experiences on set, so they could post it in their own respective channels upon the video’s release.

The results were phenomenal.

HP posted behind-the-scenes featurettes, which immediately garnered 25 million engagements. Within 24 hours of releasing the music video, HP reached 78% of its target viewers—teenagers in the age range of 13-34. It also grew its Youtube channel visitors by 600% and increased its subscribers by 48%!

The best part?

The campaign was authentic!

Each post showcased everyone’s genuine interest and love for the project.

2. “Wolf Campaign” – drew attention to cybersecurity in the workplace

To promote the value of HP Secure printers, the company tapped  Christian Slater for its Wolf campaign. It aimed to promote the value of acquiring secure printers. Since printers aren’t usually protected, sensitive information sent to them can be easily accessed by unauthorized individuals.

“Cyberattacks on enterprises across the world are only increasing,” said Vikrant Batra, global head of marketing for imaging and printing at HP, “There have been several hacks in companies where folks have gotten in through the printer.”

In the video, Christian represents the wolf. He is a hacker who steals company information through printers.  He is seen visiting offices and narrating scenarios of how hackers can send malware via unprotected printers. For instance, he can send sheep cartoons to office workers, send suspicious spa certificates and get unclaimed print jobs.

Not surprisingly, the brand’s use of digital storytelling has helped it skyrocket to success. The company’s HP secure products contributed to its $12.5 billion sales and its net income of $500 million for that year.

3. “Keep Reinventing” – created a fun series of Star Wars ads

HP tied its “Keep Reinventing” campaign with the release of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. The first video featured a teenager creating his own version of R2-2D. The droid then goes to the house of a woman and gives her a movie-ticket.

Impressed, the girl accepts the invite.

Another video called “Sound Wars” recreated the main soundtrack of Star wars through toe taps, Sumo wrestler slaps and a variety of other activities. These sounds are put together through the musical functions of HP laptops.

The last video features a family that uses HP’s “Instant Ink” printer feature to print photos of children dressed in their favorite Star Wars characters, while playing with lightsabers.

“In the Star Wars universe, anyone who has passion, ingenuity and technology has the force to reinvent,” says Antonio Lucio, CMO at Adweek. “In our world, this same truth applies.”

By showcasing how families can recreate the Star Wars universe through HP’s products, the brand is able to attract viewers of all ages.

4. Reinvent Mindsets – promotes its hiring criteria

HP finds the best talent through promotional ads with inspirational messages.

Its “Dads and Daughters” campaign features real-life fathers and daughters. In the video, fathers were asked to read generic interview tips for women found online. These pieces of advice include “don’t wear too much makeup,” “don’t be aggressive while trying to negotiate your salary,” and “don’t look too hot.” Next, dads and daughters were asked to share how they felt about the sexist advice.

The video ends with a narrative from HP, where they claim that they’re training hiring managers to reduce unconscious bias. They’re hiring, with talent as their only criteria.

Another video is titled, “Let’s Get In Touch.” It illustrates how African-Americans are three times more likely to not get the job, in spite of their qualifications. Consistent with the last video, it sends the message that talent is HP’s only criteria.

Both of these videos effectively encourage top talent to apply to the company. While it might not directly result into an increase in sales, it will attract talented individuals who can help increase the company’s profits.

Here’s what we’ve learned from HP’s successes:

  • Collaborate with social influencers and celebrities
  • Create ads with great storylines
  • Attract top talent through compelling ads
  • Latch on to popular culture

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Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.