JayZ puts an “i” in HP

This ad is hip, hip-hop to be precise. I rewinded and watched it three times. The graphics are mesmorizing. The voiceover is so well done. It made me want to run out and by one.

Compare that with the latest Apple vs. PC campaign. Apple is just replaying the same old page from it’s playbook. (PCs get virus’s, PCS are hard-to-use, PCs are stupid) It just makes Apple look petty and juvenile.

You can’t build a brand that focuses on why everyone else sucks. You need give them a reason to pay more to choose you. There is one “i” at Apple that gets it. Maybe the guys at creative team for iPod should be making the commercials from now on.

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10 Responses
  1. Jaxopolitan

    “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.”

    Jay-Z IS the greatest. Kudos to HP for borrowing some seriosu brand equity.

  2. ron h

    It’s too bad HPs’ ad agency can’t design their products.

    Design should be a part of your whole business process and not just the advertising and online efforts.

  3. Jaxopolitan

    Indeed. I can’t say anything about HP’s products within the past few years, but when I did own an HP desktop in college it was a real problem child. I still have a tempermental printer.

    It’s like, “A dog with a pretty bow is still a dog.”

    Oh, the perils of being in advertising. Doing your job well means selling a product or service, but what sort of ethics factor in when the product isn’t very good? Loyalty to your client, or obligation to their customer?

  4. J. Douglas

    True. Apple does a great job with their design, and usually leads in the brand category. It seems a misstep to compare yourself to PCs, especially with Apple’s superiority complex.

    That’s like Ron comparing himself to me, when Ron is clearly a better designer.


  5. Jaxopolitan


    Actually, I wasn’t talking specifically about Apple/PC, although that’s obviously what sparked the initial post. I was thinking in more broad, general terms – not really about the Apple vs. PC debate (which has, and will continue, on for decades), but rather advertising in general.

    Here’s another example:

    I had a horrible experience with Bellsouth DSL. To the point where I actually became hostile towards the customer service agent (This was when I was working retail, and I tried to be as nice as possible to every poor, unfortunate soul in CS, no matter how inept. This was also my fourth cancellation call, and was still being charged for service 3 months after leaving my previous address).

    Afterwards, the more I spoke to people about Bellsouth, the more I realized that Bellsouth’s complete crapiness is the worst kept secret since Clay Aiken’s heterosexuality.

    And yet, commercials run touting Bellsouth DSL’s awesomeness, including (but not limited to) convenience and great customer service.

    So, Bellsouth’s agency is doing a great job pumping out ads for their client – but are they doing themselves (and the public as a whole) a disservice by promoting a product/service that’s not good?

    As advertisers, are we to act like lawyers, with complete confidentiality of our clients’ crimes or misdeeds? Or do we need to establish greater ethics, to protect the public by being more honest?

    I mean, really. Whatever happened to ads like, “Volvo: Boxy, but good.”

  6. J. Douglas

    Agreed on Bellsouth. HDC feels that a brand should reinforce a companies strengths, not lie about their weaknesses. In regards to the HP ad in question, Jay Z only states what is “on” his PC. Not how the PC performs or how many times he called tech support.

    So in this case, HPs agency is using the time old tradition of celebrity endorsement, which says nothing other than Jay Z uses it.

    I think Ron is afraid of gangstas. That’s what this is really about.

  7. Anonymous

    I agree with a lot of the aspects so I won’t waste time touching on the same points except to reiterate the fact that as nice as the HP ad looks, you could essintially put the Apple logo at the end of it and it would still mean the same thing. As simple and egotistical as the Apple commercials may be, they are playing right into their market, the people who don’t use macs.
    The people who seriously spend half of the time using a pc updating and downlaoding new dective software to get rid of all the crap that magically appears even with firewalls and scanners running. They are playing to those who are deeply frustrated with the amount of maintenance and lack of quality bundled software on a PC. Apple dosent make this stuff up. After discussing the commercials with a lot of pc users, to my amazement, they were intrigued by what a mac can do and were more convinced of a macs solid performance, quality applications and security rather than HP’s eye candy, which really says nothing about the machine. Im not saying we have to dumb down technology for people to understand but it seems to me that holding hands to show a network, literally speaking different languages an uptight fellow with glasses representing a PC and so on, help people associate quality and performance with Apple, quickly and clearly

    Paul Rand Rulz

  8. J. Douglas

    I think it’s a bit ironic to say the HP ad is substanceless when iPod does the exact same thing with Bono or Winford Marsalis(not sure that’s spelled right). And quite succesfully.

    Furthermore, there are a bazillion more drivers for Windows than Macs and networking those biatches in a Windows environment is a nightmare. I spent more in IT charges trying to get it talk to my server, than the cost of the machine.

    As for the virus issue, beware! OS 10 has only been around a few years. You’re on a Unix platform now and it’s only a matter of time before hackers start coming after you.

    So not only is the new campaign lame, the claims are not even accurate.

    Apple could better position there mac line with something like

    iMac + iLife

    You know, like ipod + itunes. That’s a unique selling point. There is nothing even close to iLife on the Windows side.

    (side note – I think this blogging thing could really catch on)

  9. Anonymous

    Ah yes, point very well taken in many regards. I agree the Ipod commercials were very succesful, the ad with Wynton Marsalis is one of the best adverts created. I doubt any other company in the world would ever think of putting a jazz musician in a mainstream commercial? An ad like that helps to build Apples credibility as a true music source for its ITunes music store. Also theres something about jazz and graphic design that just jive, Its the true sound of design.

    Back to the subject at hand here is a commercial for VW in the UK Utlizing a very famous scene (sourt of) and of course the tagline at the end to tie it all together. (Music by Mint Royale)

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