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.


Now, E. (2014, October 6). ‘Bend the Rules’ campaign aimed at giving HP a millennial feel: Lloyd Mathias. Retrieved April 02, 2016, from

Olenski, S. (2015, August 21). The 3 Best Social Media Campaigns Of 2015 (So Far). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from



Strategic Planning At A Glance – Coca-Cola

As I’ve stated in the past, Coca-Cola is, without a doubt, the cream of the crop with marketing campaigns. A few months back, I discussed how they did it again with a wildly successful social media campaign in Colombia. If you need a refresher:

  • It’s the first day of classes on a college campus and nervous freshmen are walking about; faces in their phones with the hope that someone will come up to them and start a conversation.
  • Coca-Cola puts up a machine of special Coke bottles that require a unique mechanism: join the smart cap with another to unlock and open (and yes, this required going up to somebody else that had one) the bottle.
  • Kids are opening bottles and starting conversations, making friends, and feeling better about themselves.
  • In the end, nearly 9.7 million views, hundreds of thousands of Facebook shares, and 5,000+ subscriptions later, this once again proves that Coca-Cola can do no wrong.

I have already talked about the content creation/curation strategy and how it has helped the soft drink giant excel in its campaign. But this is just one part of its success. With every great campaign comes a plan. This plan consists of business goals that the company creates to ensure that their social media campaign is successful, and in the case of the “Friendly Twist” campaign for Coca-Cola, their goals were as follows:

  • To sell their product
  • To reinforce their theme of bringing people together with a can or bottle of soda
  • To create engagement amongst the fans on social media with the hashtag #FriendlyTwist, especially on Twitter

The opportunity that was present is that college students are a fairly easy market to target to because of the fact that college students are more than likely all going through the same things no matter where they are, and what better moment than the first day of classes? Nobody knows each other, and the ones that do know each other are grouped up with their friends already, leaving others without friends alone to wonder if there is, perhaps, something wrong with them or if they have something stuck in their teeth because no one has approached them yet. Coca-Cola has jumped on this opportunity that was practically standing right in front of them to reach out to a brand new target audience and produce content based on a very common issue that they can relate to.

So how exactly might have Coca-Cola come to this? It helps to consider some research questions:

  • What downsides of college can students relate to, and how can Coca Cola incorporate their efforts into this?
  • Look at similar videos of heartwarming moments; how do these fare out in terms of popularity amongst viewers?
  • How can the brand successfully reinforce their message without being too old-fashioned, or creating a method that seems dated in comparison with similar campaigns?

These questions seem to be the most significant for the prior planning of the campaign.

Overall, this is proof that no good campaign was ever created without some extensive research and planning beforehand. Coca-Cola continues to be a fine example of how companies should act and plan ahead when coming up with campaign ideas for their brand.