Three or so years ago Hewlett-Packard was arguably the most successful company in the world – the biggest PC maker with an enviably premium marketing platform and prices.
It’s hardly on its uppers now of course but the intervening period has seen the defenestration of CEO Mark Hurd (now at Oracle) over alleged expenses irregularities and, more pertinently, the irresistible rise of Apple which now dominates the profitable end of the smartphone market, new tablet computers and digital music.
So H-P is launching a new global campaign Everybody On which majors on its embryo all-encompassing music offering. Appropriately enough it was launched at the Grammy Awards over the weekend and here we have New York New York chanteuse Alicia Keys saying she’s an H-P gal.
The campaign also features Lou Reed and Walk on the Wild Side which has vexed some people, partly because the tune is over-used, partly because (originally anyway) anything less like corporate muzak would be hard to find.
H-P is also plugging its new tablet computer the Touchpad (a pretty good name) plus two debut smartphones the Pre3 and the mini-sized Veer.
H-P is probably the only tech company apart from Google with the image to take on Apple and, to do so, seems to have signed up a large chunk of the agency world including Goody, Silverstein & Partners, McCann Erickson, PR firm Edelman and Omnicom Media Group.
Should Apple be worried?
Hard to say, the company has historically been happy with a niche only now it’s a much, much bigger niche (the second biggest company in the world by market value).
Apple’s growing army of fans will probably stick with Apple whatever anyone else does. But H-P has a good chance to be the best of the rest.