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Advertising HP Data & Privacy

HP campaign targets Gen Z with added webcam security and laptop flexibility


By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

July 1, 2019 | 6 min read

Gen Z may be the first truly digital native generation, which means it is the first to grow up both watching and being watched. For this reason, they are also concerned about all the troubles that can come with being digital, including being hacked.

HP Hang However spot

HP's 'Hang However' spot

This is the main reason HP recently decided to make a webcam kill switch on its laptops, because even though many in Gen Z use the camera for good, they know that it’s not difficult to hack an account.

A new campaign by HP, ‘Keep It Human,’ speaks to the role technology plays in this generation’s daily lives and addresses the appeals and problems that 18 to 24 year-olds have with their devices. It’s grounded in a core insight that technology should not diminish or replace humanity, it should enhance it.

A series of ads by HP and agency FF LA shows a selection of Gen Z laptop users and the various, and sometimes silly ways they use their devices, and the webcam kill switch and a new flexible laptop are highlighted.

In ‘Be You’ the focus is on those moments when people let down their guards and just be themselves. We see a girl in a bathtub making designs with her shampooed hair as her cockatoo looks on next to her laptop, along with a guy in front of his laptop putting cheese curls in his nose, a girl flossing, a couple eating cake and several people exercising with abandon. The tag states “Be You. Nobody’s Watching” as it centers on the simple kill switch on the outside of the computer.

‘There’s a Better Way’ shows the various creative ways people try to cover their webcams, from gum to adhesive bandages to stickers and sticky notes. A text over states “This is silly,” then shows the simplicity of the kill switch.

A third spot, ‘Hang However,’ shows the various contortions and positions young people can get into when consuming digital content on the flexible x360 Hinge laptop, from practicing yoga to couples lounging on one another, to being on the floor, hanging off the bed or brushing teeth while lying down.

The campaign is designed to demonstrate that technology that acts in service to humanity, according to HP chief marketing officer Vikrant Batra.

“The innovation that our design teams and product teams came up with is a hard webcam kill switch that kills the webcam when you don’t want to use it,” Batra told The Drum. “Giving control back, that resonated in a tremendous way. Right from when the marketing team did the insights on what kind of features should be developed. When you have something powerful that resonates, all we can do is bring it to life in the most interesting and creative way, which is what we did from a privacy and trust perspective.”

He stated that a lot of insight went into coming up with the webcam kill switch and hinge design, and all came out of a want for HP to develop trust with its customers, especially this younger generation.

“A lot of work we’ve done with insights globally really drove us to this platform of trust and privacy. HP has been a trusted brand for a long time, and especially in the environment we’re in with data and privacy. For us, not only from a marketing perspective, but from a core innovation engineering perspective, privacy and security are key to us. Our insights…we have had discussions with customers in so many countries. We operate in 167 countries, and especially with Gen Z, trust and privacy emerged as hugely important. Something as simple as the webcam – is my webcam hackable, is someone looking at me through my webcam? – is a real worry in the minds of Gen Z,” said Batra.

He added that the campaign was shot by essentially just rolling the camera in front of the cast for 36 hours, which meant they got comfortable in front of the camera and decided to just be themselves, contortions and all.

“I have two kids and when I see at home how my kids are, whether they’re sitting on a couch or watching TV, they like to use their technology in positions where they are. For 36 hours of shooting this campaign and letting the camera just roll, the cast got into such comfortable positions. You realized how versatile this product is and what it does and it really resonated. So, we picked the two most important features for Gen Z and kind of brought them to life. It’s something that is genuine,” said Batra.

See the work by clicking the Creative Works box below.

HP Inc: Keep It Human by FF LA

By HP Inc

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