HP writes big fat cheque for 'Print 2.0' ad jamboree
Beyond the paper dome
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is bigging up its web-based printer offerings in a pricey $300m marketing campaign.
The printing giant said that the campaign, which kicks off today and will be shown across traditional media, outdoor ads and online content, will promote HP's so-called "Print 2.0" strategy which was first announced in May this year.
In a move which cynics could consider is a concerted effort to add the ubiquitous digits to a tired formula, HP hopes to charm the pants off its customers by coughing up whizzy, web-based printer technology.
Underlining that strategy, HP said in a statement yesterday: "As more and more content moves from the desktop to the web, HP is working to make printing relevant and meaningful."
The ad-campaign which has been named "What do you have to say?" will be dished up by the firm's long-term media chums – San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners which is part of the Omnicom Group.
Although in recent years HP has made huge in-roads into the PC market where it now holds the number one spot, the printing side of the biz still brings in about 28 per cent of revenue and more than half of the firm's operating profit.
HP said it has already tied up deals with both Microsoft and Yahoo! with the former allowing users to print Snapfish photos via Windows Live Spaces, while the latter has provided a web browser toolbar offering services that include printing tips and online classes.
Vyomesh Joshi, who heads up HP's California-based imaging and printing business, said that the campaign aims to attract the little men such as small businesses, consumers and graphic designers.
Indeed, it is gunning for the same market that Xerox has recently been touting for; surviving in the printing space today seems to require applying a catch-all theory that has less to do with paper and more to do with adapting big grey boxes to a world that is 2.0-shaped.
Joshi perhaps put it more succinctly, who, according to Reuters said, this campaign is "not about the printer".
HP's full press release is here for you to print out or of course read Web 2.0 stylie. ®
HP printers used to be known for rock-solid mechanicals and dubious software quality. A few years back in a Carly-inspired re-org, some friends there told me that the PLAN was to outsource the mechanical design and keep the software development in house. It makes a "new-HP" sort of sense: "play to your weakness". It also explains why my 3210 "all in one", which I bought for networked printing, has not been usable as a networked printer (BSODs itself if you connect via ethernet) since my first software update. Sigh
Roped in LiveJournal
They've roped in LiveJournal, too - see http://news.livejournal.com/102576.html. It's not exactly the biggest of websites, but I suppose it has its advantages for this. They'd better hope it doesn't go the same way as Pepsi's sponsorship of LiveJournal.
(For those of you not following it, the Pepsi campaign involved sponsored mood themes, journal styles and v-gifts. The v-gifts got used to spam http://news.livejournal.com/profile, LiveJournal staffers, and people the sender didn't like, often with interesting messages attached. The journal styles were used to create journals that seemed, at a glance, like badly-done Pepsi sponsored ones. In the end, I think they pulled it not because of all this, but because somewhere on LiveJournal there were Russian neo-nazi beheading pictures and videos.)
Does this mean yet another toolbar will be forced on us by the OEM PC companies? At this rate, with Google, Yahoo, MSN, Epson, HP... and then the starware & mywebsearch bars that kids seem to attract, there soon won't be any space for actual web pages in a browser!
So that's what web2.0 is all about... lots of helper programs, no content available... I see a problem here, how are we meant to print anything unless we can get to it initially?