updated 01:05 pm EST, Thu March 11, 2010
HP to start $40m ad blitz to recast image
(Update: official video below) HP is about to start an estimated eight week long, $40 million corporate advertising campaign, its first in over five years, a source said on Thursday. According to the WSJ, HP aims to show off its broader range of technology through a set of ads to help spread the message. The campaign would include rapper Dr. Dre, whose Beats headphones and software are already on some HP notebooks, as well as stand-up comic and Flight of the Conchords actor Rhys Darby.
The purportedly light-hearted ad campaign is due to kick off this weekend with TV, print, Internet and radio spots. Flying a "Let's Do Amazing" slogan, some of the ads will also use photographer Annie Leibovitz and shipping company UPS to show how real-world users depend on HP's devices.
HP has acknowledged that it wants to change its image, which has been closely linked to business even after its "personal again" ads. It wants to avoid a reputation as "just a printer company," chief marketer Michael Mendenhall said.
Regardless of its perception, the company has been in little danger of losing acceptance as it currently leads the US and the world in market share. Acer is catching up, but still faces a significant gap; Dell has been sinking through a combination of its weaker retail footprint and a lineup that has sometimes been more expensive.
Update: HP's YouTube feed has the first several commercials; the Dr. Dre ad is shown below.