HP Scares Up an IT-Focused Campaign

A new campaign from HP features Dracula, The Blob, and other hideous creatures as stand-ins for horrifying (to some) ghouls of technology such as power-draining equipment, rogue virtualized data centers, and untrained system custodians.

The campaign features six such monsters on a YouTube channel and Facebook Fan page. All media link back to HP’s destination site, “What’s haunting your data center?

Animated video clips are about 30-seconds. “Hello, I am Dracula, and I love to suck energy from your data center,” says the vampire. “I want to bite your budget. I can drain out half your dollars, just to cool your site, and more in places you’re not looking.”

In other clips, Frankenstein looms as a multi-vendor environment monster; the Blob is a virtualized data center gone wrong; skeletons trot out of the closet as legacy, unknown servers and storage hardware; ghosts spook the system, haunting unsecured data centers; and a werewolf prowls as the untrained custodian or employee of an upgraded system.

“Especially for customers that have data centers, we tend to have ongoing, involved dialogs with them,” said Flynn Maloy, worldwide marketing manager for technology services and solutions at HP. “[They have] security breaches, energy-sucking problems, data centers built 20 years ago.”

HP worked with its PR firm Cohn and Wolfe to create the campaign, which was put together in about three weeks. “We chartered them with helping build awareness with an otherwise dry subject,” said Maloy.

The sales channel also used the campaign as a tool to communicate with its customers. T-shirts and other items featuring the characters are available from CafePress. Sales people have ordered T-shirts from the site to offer to customers.

“It created a big, broad buzz, created conversations with our customers, and it’s definitely reaching the right people,” said Maloy.

With such a general audience on sites such as YouTube and Facebook, HP couldn’t expect to limit the campaign to its target IT segment. “With 1.2 million people on Facebook, we’re reaching more than IT people, but it helps our general branding,” said Maloy.

“What haunts your data center?” is set to run a few weeks into November. Maloy hopes to continue with the humorous theme for future campaigns. He said Cohn and Wolfe has done work for HP before, “This is the first time they’ve taken a humorous approach.”

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