HP to focus on music in bid to be a “cool” brand

Hewlett-Packard is to ramp up its music-based marketing strategy in a bid to change consumer perception that it is just an office computing and printer brand.

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Beats by Dr Dre headphones

The consumer electronics maker is readying the launch of a global celebrity multi-platform campaign to promote the launch of its first tablet, the TouchPad, which features Beats with Dr Dre speakers. The campaign is set to feature a UK music artist.

Rebecca Shears, head of marketing for H-P’s personal systems group, says: “We are looking to make people see H-P as a premium brand. People often describe H-P as ’trusted’, ’quality’ and ’reliable’ – which are fantastic associations – but we’d also like to add ’cool’, ’music’ and ’innovative’.”

The TouchPad campaign also features brand partnerships with the Guardian, to include sponsored music content, and online music discovery website Last.fm.

H-P recently enlisted the help of pop star Plan B for a UK cinema campaign to demonstrate the power of the Beats with Dr Dre technology that already comes installed in H-P Premium PCs and laptops.

Shears adds that 2011 is the first year H-P has appeared back on TV and the company is investing heavily in the brand since former CEO Mark Hurd rolled out a series of cost cutting measures during the recession.

The company appointed Martin Homlish as its chief marketing officer in April to create a “unified marketing approach” across the company’s PC, imaging and printing and enterprise business divisions.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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