HP enlists Orange Country Choppers for SuperBowl ad

HP enlists Orange Country Choppers for SuperBowl ad

Summary: Hewlett-Packard is one of the seminal Silicon Valley companies, rooted in the nerdy engineering-driven culture that also spawned Intel, Apple, Sun, Google and other legends in the neighborhood. Unlike Apple, which has become synonymous with cool consumer tech, HP is still mostly iconic as an engineering company that happens to sell big iron, PCs and printers.

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TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard
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Hewlett-Packard is one of the seminal Silicon Valley companies, rooted in the nerdy engineering-driven culture that also spawned Intel, Apple, Sun, Google and other legends in the neighborhood. Unlike Apple, which has become synonymous with cool consumer tech, HP is still mostly iconic as an engineering company that happens to sell big iron, PCs and printers. Yet, HP sold 35 million PCs and handhelds and 50 million printers in its fiscal 2006.

HP's marketing gurus Satjiv Chahil and David Roman, both former Apple marketers, have been working hard to give the HP brand an image makeover. Roman was advertising chief at Apple during the memorable "Think Different" campaign. Their latest effort is a 30-second SuperBowl XLI ad, which reportedly cost $2.6 million, that will appear in the final quarter of game taking place in Miami on February 4.

HP's SuperBowl ad features Orange Country Choppers' Paul HD and surround sound, framed by the sound of Orange County Chopper motorcycles, said Roman, who is vice president for marketing communications of the Personal Systems Group.

HP is treating the SuperBowl ad, created with ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, as event marketing, but not as a one time event like Apple's famous "1984" commercial. "The big story will be the use of the Internet," Roman said. "The impact of Web this year is new to us. People will look at the Chopper ad through the Web at least us much as on TV."

HP will start populating the Web with teaser ads this week. The Web site will go live after the ad airs on Sunday, and will include a 60-second version of the ad, special product promotions and other features. "On Monday, we expect to see a big spike in traffic, and then it will take on life of own and get viral propagation. This is new territory for all us," Roman said (at left).  

According to Roman, Orange County Choppers SuperBowl ad is a continuation of the successful "talking hands" commercials, with "The computer is personal again" tagline, that features celebrities such as Jay-Z, Mark Cuban, Mark Burnett, and Shawn White.  

"The typical process is to first interview the celebrities working at their computers, and then come pack with script and get their feedback on it," Roman said. "The third visit, we record their voice in a one-hour session--they are doing it for free so time is short. With the hands, we bring them to a studio close by and in two hours they are done. Chopper took a full day because it has more special effects. All the graphics--bikes, spiders, snakes and flags--are themed directly from them."

Roman said that the Jay-Z talking hands ad has been the most successful so far. "He is hot and come across as genuinely interesting," Roman said. "Jay-Z gave us the music, chose his own wardrobe and made changes in the script that show in the end result. What comes across is him."

In the talking hands commercials, the face is not shown and the person is standing still, which makes a point of what the person does rather than their celebrity, Roman explained. The Chopper ad includes his perspective as he rides through the animated scenery.

New ads are in the works that feature fashion designer Vera Wang and novelist Paulo Coelho. In addition, Chahil said the company is also focused on improving the industrial design of its PCs, as with the TouchSmart IQ770. Despite suboptimal thinking in handling boardroom leaks, HP is indeed thinking differently on the marketing front.

See also: HP's Wow Factor (BusinessWeek) 

Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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11 comments
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  • Lest we fall for the ZDNet revisionist history

    "Hewlett-Packard is one of the seminal Silicon Valley companies, rooted in the
    nerdy engineering-driven culture that also spawned Intel, Apple, Sun, Google and
    other legends in the neighborhood."

    HP did NOT spawn Apple.

    Steve Wozniak worked for HP but they ignored any option on his technology:

    "And while HP was interested in the machine, Wozniak said that ultimately, the
    company was afraid that it wasn't polished enough to be an HP product. Later, he
    added that if HP had wanted it, it probably would have been a commercial failure
    and might have set the personal-computer business back significantly."
    http://news.com.com/Woz+highlights+celebration+of+Apples+history/
    2100-1042_3-6132644.html

    Simply more ZDNet revisionist history, fortunately without a MS bent;-)
    Richard Flude
    • Get over it: ZDNet's correct

      HP was around 1st. They are THE grandaddy of them all. Most likely if there was no HP, would Wozniak have stuck with electronics, or would he just have been a fishing boat captain instead?

      I know you hate to hear that your all high and mighty Apple was not the first, biggest or best, but face it, the article's correct.

      Hewlett and Packard showed them all what can happen with a simple ideal and a small garage.

      Would Wozniak or Jobs have even dared? who knows. The absolute truth is[b]Hewlett-Packard is one of the seminal Silicon Valley companies, rooted in the nerdy engineering-driven culture that also spawned Intel, Apple, Sun, Google and other legends in the neighborhood[/b]
      John Zern
      • That was just for fun. Now re-read it like this

        Hewlett-Packard is one of the seminal Silicon Valley companies, rooted in the nerdy engineering-driven culture. [You know, the culture] that also spawned Intel, Apple, Sun, Google and other legends in the neighborhood.

        They where not saying HP spawned Apple and the other, they were stating that the CULTURE was what spawned them all.
        John Zern
  • read it again before you light the torches

    The "the nerdy engineering-driven culture" spawned them, not HP. It's only ambiguous if you're not paying attention.
    Hogleg
  • Hire a "Poof" Reader!!

    I know, I know ... that should be "pRoof," but the numerous misspellings of "County" as
    "CountRy" in the article, headline and link created a shortage of r's. You DID get it wright a
    couple of times ...
    dshans@...
    • Pot calling the kettle black..?

      [b]You DID get it wright a couple of times ... [/b]

      That would be RIGHT - not WRITE, or WRIGHT..
      Wolfie2K3
      • Pot calling the kettle black..?

        I was just bustin' their chops (choppers?) a bit. There were other errors as well the
        two you noted but, I didn't want to go "overbored."

        Rite On!!!
        dshans@...
        • Choppers? Shoppers?

          May be the worrect word would also be
          "Shoppers", because this is all what this
          article speaks about: commerce and advertizing
          campaigns for shoppers (another word for HP
          consumers, or for HP retailers?).

          When I read the article title, I really thought
          it was about an advertizing compaign in the
          Netherlands (targetting the Orange country
          shoppers).

          In addition, the article is displayed along
          with ads for iPhones sold by Orange (France
          Telecom). This makes this even more confusive,
          and I wonder where was something about any HP
          product.

          Deceptive title, works like a spam...
          PhilippeV
    • Failing keyboard?

      May be the writer of this article has a failing
      keyboard. that's not the only occurence of the
      "missing R" in various areas, that the
      corrector did not fix.
      PhilippeV
  • Correction...

    [b]HP's SuperBowl ad features Orange Country Choppers' Paul Teutul, Sr., the burly, tatooed custom bike maker of the popular "American Chopper" reality TV show on the Discovery Channel.[/b]

    1.) As of Jan 2007, American Chopper moved to TLC - and is no longer seen on Discovery Channel.

    2.) It's spelled TATTOO - or tattooed in the past tense.
    Wolfie2K3
  • Orange "Country" (Netherlands?) -> fix to "County"

    Error is in this rticle, and in every other articles
    pointing to it. It looks like ZDNet's orthographic
    corrector does not know the word "County" in its
    database.

    For me the "Orange country" is the Netherlands.
    PhilippeV