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?