Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Brand X: Child Play


Brand: Hewlett-Packard
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Creative Director: Steve Simpson

Tech behemoth Hewlett-Packard has been getting in touch with its inner child. At least, that's the message of one of the ads in the company's new identity campaign, which seduces with a picture of a cute kid, a headline -- all kids are inventors -- and a slyly poetic bit of prose: "It's because they're not afraid to get their hands filthy. To eat the paste . . . And to start with the impossible, which is where grown-ups usually stop. Just a few of the things we're keeping in mind as we invent the new HP. Want to come along?" Well, golly, sure. Too bad HP is still basically a plain old earthbound, hardware-centric (if newly Web-savvy) tech company, not a dot-com. But there's no law against trying to sound like a dot-com by spewing touchy-feely Fast Company-speak, as if HP had enrolled itself in a Tom Peters seminar and suddenly seen the light. In the new new economy, it turns out that making lots of noise about giving yourself a personality transplant is one way to crank up your market value: Big brokerage houses have been issuing breathless "buy" recommendations -- and HP's stock has nearly doubled from its fall 1999 low. Who knew that Wall Street warriors would be such suckers for sharing and caring?


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift