For once, familiarity bred contentment.
Hewlett-Packard, after considering a bevy of non-roster shops to handle global advertising for its personal computers, has selected BBDO, a roster shop that already creates ads for printers and corporate image efforts, according to sources. Global media spending on the PC assignment is estimated at $120 million.
BBDO now handles the bulk of HP's creative business. The relationship began in 2008 with a printing and imaging assignment overseas.
In a statement, Eric Keshin, HP's svp of marketing for printing and personal systems, cited the winning agency's "keen understanding of our wide-ranging market segments, sound marketing strategy and high impact ideas."
Going into the PC review, BBDO looked like a long shot. After all, the personal systems group had a new marketing chief in Keshin—a former COO of McCann Worldgroup—and why would he hire a consultant (Pile + Co.) and invite non-roster shops to pitch the business (including finalists DDB, Deutsch LA and The Martin Agency) if HP just wanted to expand its relationship with BBDO?
About eight weeks into the process, however, HP merged its PC group with its unit for printing and imaging. In making the move, the company's new CEO, Meg Whitman, cited the desire to create efficiencies and save money, including on marketing.
So, then the question changed to, Why employ two agencies for a single division? And in that context, BBDO became a favorite.
Of course, the Omnicom Group agency still had to prove itself strategically and creatively in the review. After all, none other than Whitman attended all four final presentations, which took place two weeks ago at HP's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Even new assignments from existing clients require a pitch sometimes.
Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners had handled the account from 2006 until late last year. Since then, Interpublic Group's twofifteenmccann in San Francisco has created PC ads on a project basis.