Goodby Portrays H-P as Postal Hero

LOS ANGELES Hewlett-Packard is set to break the newest installment of its “customer + hp” campaign on Sept. 3 with ads that examine how the company’s technology helps the United States Postal Service.

The national effort includes TV, print and online ads from San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which first launched the campaign in November 2002. The ads, which highlight the role of H-P technologies in mail processing and delivery, retain “Everything is possible” as a tagline. H-P is spending approximately $400 million on the campaign annually, said Gary Elliott, vice president of global brand and marketing communications at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based client.

One 30-second TV spot opens with a mailman braving a snowstorm, rain and heat to deliver mail, and then takes an unusual turn as he overcomes obstacles such as a giant robot made of washing machines and the earth being sucked into a black hole. The voiceover: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor temporary loss of gravity, nor grumpy robots made of old washing machines, nor black holes that swallow the entire known universe will keep the U.S. Postal Service from its appointed rounds. H-P technology helps make sure the mail never stops.” The ad shows animation of the process a letter goes through and concludes with H-P’s corporate signature, “Invent.”

“We wanted to tell in a very lighthearted way how mail delivery happens, and how all this technology enables the postal service to do what it does best,” said Elliott, adding that H-P has had a relationship with the U.S. Postal Service since 1979. “We’re talking not only about some unsung technology in terms of playing a role behind the scenes, we’re also talking about the heroes of the postal service.”

Two print ads and an online execution also include illustrations that follow a piece of mail as it is dropped in the mailbox, processed at the postal center and delivered to the recipient. Posters will also appear in USPS centers around the country, Elliott said.

Since H-P launched the campaign, it has profiled approximately 35 customers, said Elliott. “Our intent is to tell the story about the new Hewlett-Packard and, in doing so, tell people about Hewlett-Packard as a technology solutions company,” said Elliott. “People perceived us to be a printer and PC company. This has moved the needle for us as we look at our brand and the importance it plays in people’s lives.”

The USPS TV spots will be added to a rotation that includes commercials touting H-P’s relationship with customers such as FTD and the National Gallery of London, Elliott said. The USPS ads will air through the fourth quarter during major football programming of NFL and college games. Print ads will appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post.