HP throws its muscle behind printing campaign

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In case there were any lingering thoughts that the printed word is dead, consider this: Hewlett-Packard has launched a $300 million-plus, integrated marketing campaign that reflects just how important printing-related services and products are to the company.

This $300 million marketing effort, announced last week by HP, is just the first drop in the bucket of what is scheduled to be a four-year global campaign.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the campaign. While it features a mix of traditional and new media, there is "clearly a switch to more of an interactive element than traditional media," according to a company spokesman. In fact, according to press materials from HP, this is the largest global interactive marketing campaign that HP has unveiled to date.

Anchoring the campaign are three microsites that enable customers to combine personal content with exclusive HP content and easily print out the results any way they want, be it at home or work, online or, eventually, via a network of print service providers.

HP will drive consumers and small business owners to the various microsites using TV, print, online and out-of-home ads. The tagline "What do you have to say?" appears throughout in a hand-written script, attempting to reinforce the sentiment of self-expression that is central to the campaign.

The online and out-of-home component launched on August 28. Additionally, five interactive and touchable "What do you have to say?" walls have been installed in the Las Vegas airport. TV spots featuring Gwen Stefani and Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, will make their debut on September 6.

At the Stefani microsite, people can combine personal content with free designs inspired by the singer and clothing designer's Harajuku Lovers line. Small- to medium-size businesses will find brand-building tools on Burton's site. Free customizable templates to print business cards, letterhead and brochures based on Paula Scher designs are featured on the third site.

In 2008, other microsites will be added to reach the graphic arts and enterprise business communities and regional personalities in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The campaign is one way HP is trying to drive its Print 2.0 strategy, which was announced earlier this year and is the company's attempt to capture a more significant portion of the 53 trillion pages expected to be printed by 2010. The strategy focuses on delivering a next-generation digital printing platform, making it easier to print from the Web and extending HP's digital content creation and publishing platforms across all customer segments.

One example of how HP is bringing Print 2.0 to life is the launch last week of the HP Print It! Button. When Web users click on the button, they can expect an attractively formatted document designed for printing, with content that is relevant, organized and positioned, so that it maximizes space on the page. This is just one of several new printing-related technologies that HP also announced last week.

As an extension of the microsites, HP has also created two online print communities, one for consumers and one for small businesses. These wikis enable customers to collaborate on print projects across the globe and access tips and how-to information on printing, crafts, digital photography, marketing and branding.

In October, HP plans to launch the microsite HP Print Studio, which will feature free, evergreen templates and designs for making greeting cards, letterhead, invitations and more.

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