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:
- Figuratively, take a risk and try something new; break tradition (this is obvious with the Vine approach).
- 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.
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