Arc Animates HP in Asia

NEW YORK Hewlett-Packard, the No. 1 PC seller in the world, is turning to animation for its latest Asia-Pacific interactive business-to-business push from Arc Worldwide in Singapore, part of Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett.

Designed around the high-end HP XW9400 business workstation, Arc has built a new Web site where aspiring animators can use a set of pre-made characters to make and submit short stop-motion films. The characters, developed by underground designer Pete Fowler, best known for his “Monsterisms” creations, can be placed against various backgrounds, perform a series of actions and speak dialogue entered by the user.

The winner of the contest, which runs through Oct. 9, will receive an Autodesk Maya 3-D modeling program and a tour of the DreamWorks facility in Los Angeles. HP and DreamWorks have a relationship because HP computers were used in the making of Shrek and Over the Hedge. Fowler will serve as a contest judge.

“People want to be in control and contribute. We asked, ‘Why don’t we do something on the site that lets people create films?’ ” said Valerie Cheng, creative director, Arc Worldwide, Singapore. “What if we allow them to make their own creations?”

The campaign comes as HP tries to cement its recent gains in Asia. While it remains behind top-seller Lenovo Group, according to International Data Corp., a market research firm, HP’s share of shipments to Asia, excluding Japan, rose to 16 percent in the second quarter. Lenovo’s share was put at 20.7 percent. HP leads in worldwide sales, followed by Dell, according to IDC.

“HP workstation technology is inspiring animators globally to fantastic creations and enabling the creation of high-quality animated entertainment,” said Dennis Mark, vp, marketing, Asia-Pacific and Japan, HP Personal Systems Group, in a statement. “The HP Toyrama contest is a first-of-its-kind initiative in our industry—providing creative professionals the opportunity to direct ‘toys in drama’—that brings this inspiration home to Asia Pacific.” Spending was undisclosed.

The U.S. advertising from Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein + Partners was on Arc’s mind while working on this new effort, said Cheng. “If you look at what Goodby has done, it’s all about creativity within the guidelines given by HP. What Goodby does is an inspiration for us,” she said.