Analyzing an Audience with HP!

It’s a fact that I really love Coca-Cola. It’s also a fact that I love their campaigns because they’re always ridiculously fun, engaging, and always ahead of the curve. But it is also a fact that I have talked about Coca-Cola and their amazing social media campaigns for quite a bit, so for this post I feel like it’s time for a change. This time, the focus will be on HP!

One of the most popular computer brands to ever exist (I should know because I own an HP computer myself!), Hewlett-Packard has surprised us all with the revolutionary #BendTheRules campaign. Back in 2014, HP collaborated with 180LA and Niche (a talent agency now owned by Twitter where social media influencers are matched with clients with the purpose of growing and monetizing their audience) to create a new kind of campaign utilizing social media and taking it to our TV screens. In other words, creatives in social media, especially Vine stars, were invited to create their own content using HP products and the result was something that we will surely never forget: commercials made entirely out of Vine videos and a highly successful brand revamp catering to their new target audiences consisting of younger demographics.

It is made clear that the target audience for HP was a generally younger demographic consisting of teenagers and young adults (otherwise known as millennials); these are known as the key stakeholders of this campaign. The company’s goal for this campaign pertaining to the audience was to target these young people because of the fact that the brand had an “old-person” feel to it, so there “was an opportunity to give HP a far more youthful feel, which is also the genesis behind this campaign”* (Now). It is also known that millennials are using the Internet very often to stay connected, so as a result they are very likely to be on at least one social media website. Another fact is that millennials love to look at videos but have a rather short attention span (this is why Vine is a massive success due to its six-second video length requirement). In this case, HP took to Vine to get the ball rolling on their newest campaign. According to Olenski, per HP’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Rob Le Bras-Brown, “The idea was to find creative people in social media, particularly ‘vine-ographers,’ give them the machine and invite them to be creative with it in six seconds” (2015).

Based on the company’s goal for the campaign, the key message is, quite simply, “Bend the rules”. I personally took this to mean two different things:

  1. Figuratively, take a risk and try something new; break tradition (this is obvious with the Vine approach).
  2. Literally, buy yourself a computer that can flip and bend to your many needs.

In the end, both the audience and the key messaging was not only appropriate, but both of them worked in harmony and made this campaign an overwhelming hit.

*This comes from HP India’s take on the #BendTheRules campaign that began a month after the American campaign and features brand ambassador Deepika Padukone.


Sources

Now, E. (2014, October 6). ‘Bend the Rules’ campaign aimed at giving HP a millennial feel: Lloyd Mathias. Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-06/news/54691496_1_hp-campaign-deepika-padukone

Olenski, S. (2015, August 21). The 3 Best Social Media Campaigns Of 2015 (So Far). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/08/21/the-3-best-social-media-campaigns-of-2015-so-far/#75b419c5606f

 

A “Friendly Twist” To An Intimidating Situation

Coca-Cola, arguably the most popular soda brand in the world, has almost never failed at creating advertising campaigns to sell their products worldwide. From the beloved “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” ad to the iconic “Always Coca-Cola” campaign, the company always finds new and exciting ways to optimize their brand and tap into the human psyche by appealing to the emotions. As Tina Chohan says, Coca-Cola’s continuous marketing strategies “keeps the brand message alive, the campaigns back up its ideology and it forces people not to forget them as the leaders who bring “happiness” to their consumers [1]. With the rise and popularity of social media, creating advertising campaigns has never been more exciting. It’s no wonder why it still reigns supreme as the #1 soft drink in the game.

With that in mind, I want to talk about a blast from the past: one of Coca-Cola’s recent campaigns of the 2010s that utilizes social media.

Created in conjunction with the Colombia branch of the Leo-Burnett advertising agency in 2014, Coca-Cola created this Youtube advertisement that takes place in a college campus on the first day of school. It sets the scene perfectly: freshmen are walking around campus and they have a desire to meet new people. The only problem is, they do not know how; whether it is due to anxiety or simply not knowing what to say, they are stumped so as a result, they either sit on their phones or sit alone hoping someone will come up to them and strike a conversation with them.
Taking this situation into account, LB-C created this ingenious campaign by featuring a fridge full of Coke bottles, only with “smart” caps; they could not be opened by one student alone. The key to these caps was that they had to be linked to another smart cap to be unlocked and opened – meaning one student had to pair up with another to get them to open.
With 5,000+ subscriptions to the Coca-Cola Youtube channel, 160,000+ likes and shares on Facebook [2], and 9.6 million views and counting on the video alone, this advertisement was a huge success. Aside from these statistics, though, why else was this campaign a hit with the masses?

For starters, it helps to discuss their content creation/curation strategy. Take into consideration that Coca-Cola has always embraced the idea that a simple can or bottle of soda can really bring people together. For college students, making friends is tough especially on the first day of school. These two concepts can easily blend together in perfect harmony, which is why college students were the target audience for this campaign. The persuasive messaging strategy that was used was that of pathos, or an emotional appeal. They want to be able to relate to their target audience in a way that will get them thinking and talking. Plus, that people love to watch heartwarming videos plays a key part in the creation of the content in this campaign; in this case, a Youtube video. Pretty neat, right?

The impact that this campaign has made is extraordinary, to say the very least. In fact, searching the hashtag #FriendlyTwist on Twitter yields the most recent results from 2015; all positive reactions. Clearly, it’s made a very lasting impression with not just the target audience, but so many other groups of people as well. No wonder Coca-Cola is still #1!

What is your favorite social media campaign?


Sources:

[1]: Jordan Skole: The Best Social Media Campaigns of All Time. December 23, 2013, last modified in 2014. https://www.getambassador.com/blog/best-social-media-campaigns

[2]: Tina Chohan: Why students love Coca-Cola’s “Friendly Twist” marketing campaign. September 16, 2014. http://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2014/sep/16/why-students-love-coca-colas-friendly-twist-marketing-campaign/