Perhaps we can file today's entry under History, too, because it promotes a Hewlett-Packard that is gone for the 3000 owner who's not considering a migration. HP has put together a series of TV ads that hawk its HP Financing as part of a "HP Total Care" package. The ad looks like it's part of a campaign selling HP PCs; it's hard to believe that the HP Integrity servers would ever spark such a slick advertisement.
HP drew customers' attention to the joke (not an April Fool's gag) in its HP Technology at Work newsletter. The ad, like so many, is posted up on You Tube, in hopes of the Tube lending some viral marketing oomph to the message. You can have a look yourself. It's probably funnier if your company has a constant future in the Hewlett-Packard fold.
You can certainly believe after having a look at the ad that HP has a marketing message that includes the idea that any other computer than the ones it sells is the wrong computer. On the other hand, HP's Financing might be available for non-HP products. Or not. HP knows humor sells, plus it needs to have a direct message at the end of the joke:
Watch and laugh at this YouTube video and discover to what lengths companies will go to finance their technology. See what life would be like without HP.
Support, financing, training, all the little squares in the ad's direct message (click it for a detailed picture), these are still available from the vendor if a company is investing in HP's 3000 alternatives. The message might sting a little for the company that has not migrated and feels like it needs to run a car wash to finance their computer purchases. The subtle nudge is that a company without IT financing is in real trouble, or just someone to spark a laugh.
Of course, many of those options are available from outside of HP, from independent providers — even for the HP 3000 owner. It's a good idea not to take marketing too seriously. We can laugh here in our company, because the alternative won't get us anywhere.
Oh, and HP Financial Services racked up $642 million in loan activity in the first quarter of 2008. Nothing wrong with that, so long as the company that's not washing cars understands the HP Total Care benefits will benefit the Hewlett-Packard profit numbers. HPFS wrote 17 percent more loans in '08 in Q1 than in '07, and the easy financing made $43 million of profit in the first quarter alone.
That'll pay for a few TV commercials. HP certainly doesn't need a car wash. But life without HP need not require car washes and bake sales. What is it like? Maybe less smug, maybe not as funny. There's no comic commericals to promote life without Hewlett-Packard.