Sunday, May 30, 2010
In early 1996 the Hewlett-Packard Company began to rethink its role in the electronics products industry. Undisputedly the market leader for printers and other electronic products, Hewlett-Packard (HP) nevertheless saw the competition at its heels. Even more important, as technology became more ‘‘personalized’’ and accessible to the average person, the company was not sure it could rely solely on its history as a purveyor of electronic goods to businesses and institutions.
Hewlett-Packard turned to the San Francisco advertising firm Goodby Silverstein & Partners to create an ad campaign that would give it a more human face and present it as a company responsive to the needs of its customers. Goodby Silverstein designed ‘‘Built by Engineers, Used by Ordinary People,’’ a campaign focusing on the new Mopier business printer and the 690 series of DeskJet printers for the home. The campaign, which ran from late 1996 until about the middle of 1997, was designed to appeal to both HP’s core customers—businesses—and to recreational or home users of electronics. The consumer ads showed people in situations that could easily be made simpler by the use of Hewlett-Packard products, while the business ads showed the imagination and flexibility of HP’s engineering capacity.