Hewlett Packard to spend $60m on printer blitz

Hewlett Packard plans to almost double its European advertising spend for colour printers with a new campaign incorporating TV and a return to heavyweight IT press advertising.

The company is expected to almost double its advertising spend for this category in Europe to nearly $60m (37m).

The ads will concentrate on three key messages – speed, price and quality – rather than on specific products.

John Smith, consumer brand and advertising manager for Europe, says: “It’s a major change. We are moving away from product advertising.”

HP has decided to build its image as a leader in technology and market share.

Saatchi & Saatchi has already been briefed to come up with a creative strategy for the first stage of the campaign, which targets “smart friends” – people with an IT hobby who are often asked by friends to advise on which products to buy.

HP is planning to claim leadership in print quality, speed and cost for this stage of the campaign, which is to run in all major pro fessional and consumer IT titles.

Smith says that HP is not prepared to “stand back” and let other printer manufacturers, such as Epson, make unchallenged claims about print quality .

The print campaign is a reverse in strategy for HP, which has hardly advertised in the IT press for the past 18 months.

Saatchi is also being briefed to devise a new TV campaign, targeted more generally at consumers, which will run in January – again pushing the same three key messages.

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