HP has been promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in both its advertising and recruiting, and its latest push for the holidays is about bringing people together from both sides of the spectrum, even if they’re in the same family.
‘Togetherness’ is a nearly three-minute film that shows an extended family happily getting together for the holidays. As the evening goes on, we see the family watching divisive political news. The topics at the dinner table then turn to global warming and the two sides, including the two sisters at the center of the film, get heated in their debate. Finally, the homeowner sister yells at her other sister to leave.
It’s a gut-wrenching family drama to watch and one all too familiar in our increasingly divided country. The twist comes from watching the daughter of one the women use an HP Sprocket mobile printer to help put together a heart-shaped photo collage of the sisters. That leads to a touching reconciliation over dessert. The spot ends with “if we never reach out, we never come together” along with the tagline “this holiday season let’s reinvent togetherness.”
Said Antonio Lucio, chief marketing and communications officer at HP: “In our country, [and everywhere], there is tremendous polarization and political divide…Brands now have a unique opportunity to stand up for values that unite us.”
HP, which Lucio said is a brand built on purpose that behaves with integrity, used national qualitative research by the Pew Research Center to help build a connection to its consumers, and this film helps the company reinvent to a greater purpose by creating technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere, he said.
“I believe, our customers and employees [are] expecting us to reflect universal values. We understand the cultural divide. We were looking for things that unite us,” he said. What they found from the research is something basic: “We all want a better world for our kids. We want them to live a better life. We want to show our better self in front of them. Our film is our attempt to bring forth those values that unite us – ahead of politics, through memories – that we come together, regardless (of whether we’re from red or blue states).”
This film is a stark contrast to HP’s previous holiday spot, ‘Reinvent Giving,’ which used magical elements to bring neighbors together to make a lonely girl’s holiday brighter. While that film was more upbeat, this one shows a tougher love to get to that uniting. That was done on purpose, said Lucio.
The company wanted to show the multiple dimensions of the holidays. “On one side you have the need for wonder,” which he said the research among millennials showed, “and technology becomes a beautiful tool for that.” The other spot shows that coming together isn’t always easy, but it is necessary in this very polarized moment in time. “In the back of people’s minds, during holidays, we all want to come together. Both films are giving that,” he said.
Lucio said the inspiration for the campaign came out of the research, but some came from the elections last November, which showed the company that there was a “big and important world out there that we were not talking to. It was critically important that we get to know that world.” He went on to say that big brands like HP have to earn the trust of consumers every single day and cannot afford to be on the divisive side of the equation.
The next step was to create both technologies and communications that made emotional connections, and they saw the Sprocket as a way to be a communications tool by giving new generations the ability to have photography be a tangible and emotional connection to their friends and family. The fact that the product is barely shown in the latest spot means the company was trying to connect through emotions rather than through blatant product placement.
Connecting emotionally is what HP has been trying to do since it adopted its doing good strategy a couple of years ago, and it has been working, according to Lucio.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that all these efforts have translated into solid business results,” he said, noting that printers and personal computers have grown and their share of the market is at an all-time high, which should carry over into the new year. “As we move into 2018 you are going to see a continuation of these efforts,” he said, noting that they will leverage digital media, social media and connecting emotionally because HP believes brands anchored in purpose can play and must play a meaningful role in people’s lives.