In the ever evolving media landscape, brands are searching for new ways to engage and grow their customer base in inventive and creative ways. In this pursuit, companies are learning to embrace and combine both traditional and new media to adapt to consumer need. One example of this type of advertising innovation is computer giant HP which recently turned to social media to connect with its target audience.
In its latest campaign for the HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop, HP used Vine to create a first-of-its kind national TV commercial to create brand appeal for millenials who frequently use the app. In order to create this campaign, HP put out an open call on Niche, a platform that helps brands find social media content creators, for Vine creators to submit ideas demonstrating the versatility of the product using the company’s hashtag #BendTheRules as their inspiration. From these submissions, HP hired 12 artists and commissioned approximately 30 clips. While creativity was key in selecting the final clips, HP also took into consideration the amount of Vine followers for each artist as a way of assessing how to create greater reach. The company’s efforts with this campaign yielded exceptional results for HP both in its number of active engagements and organic views. It also proved successful for one of the Vine creators involved, Robby Ayala, who boasted up to four times the amount of his usual nonbranded revines and comments. Ayala noted that this was in large part due to the commercial’s organic feel on par with his own style. HP’s vp of worldwide marketing, Vikrant Batra, seemed to put it best when he noted that “You can’t force the culture into your brand, you have to get your brand to fit in with the culture.”
In my opinion, this is an incredible idea for an advertising campaign and Batra’s words really speak to the customer driven nature of marketing and the power that customers yield in today’s marketplace. In a computer market that is often dominated by Apple news, HP is differentiating its offerings and targeting a customer group that seems to continuously drift further away from traditional screens in favor of mobile devices. HP’s commercial’s fresh approach to traditional advertising through the use of several Vine clips speaks directly to millenials interest in the app while also showcasing the versatility and dual functionality of their product in a simple yet effective way.
This also serves as another example of the utilization of social media “stars” and their influence in spreading a message across platforms, similar to the example of Jerome Jarre and the power of Snapchat that we discussed in class. However, HP’s ads also seem to link to a newer trend of internet inspiration for brands, not only through repurposing apps for advertisements but also through the use of memes. Personally, I’ve noticed that Seamless ads placed around NYC are using memes like Doge to sell their service. The article also mentions Fiat’s use of GIFs in TV ads and Samsung’s use of Instagram photographers for its “What Matters Most” campaign. Have you seen any other examples of this type of advertising in your daily life? Any specific campaigns that stood out to you either positively or negatively?
Overall, I think HP’s incorporation of Vine is a smart move for the company especially as they try to align their brand with millenial consumers. However, the use of apps and memes in product branding may present issues in terms of the dynamic and changing nature of the internet. Brands must be aware of the message that they are presenting and the medium used. While it could prove to be a success, internet repurposing can also appear lazy or overplayed. Considering both the pros and cons of repurposing social media apps for advertising, do you think this is a trend that more brands will adopt or is it successful in HP’s case because of the nature of the product? Do you think that there are some platforms that would be more useful than others? Besides Vine, what app could work in this context? In terms of memes, do you appreciate their usage in advertising or are you weary enough of seeing them online let alone in real life?