The Pitch Gwen Stefani wants you to know that she just oozes creativity from every pore. "People think you can turn creativity on and off, but it's not like that," the singer-cum-designer declares while sashaying through a cloud of fluttering photographs. "It just kind of comes out, a mashup of all these things you collect in your mind." Soon enough, the surprisingly racktacular Gwen is strutting through the streets of Tokyo while wearing a form-fitting rugby shirt and cherry-red lipstick—an art geek's dream. The spot ends with her gazing into the night sky, and a come-on for viewers to visit hp.com/gwen and try their hand at creating paper dolls and photo albums. And therein lies this ad's real purpose—trying to find a new-and-better way of integrating the web into traditional (as opposed to guerrilla) marketing campaigns. Is HP on the right path, or are the cool kids right in mocking Stefani's vanity—and, by extension, HP's misguidedness?
Rip-Off Of Sort of a magical realist version of Kate Winslet's AMEX commercial from a few years back, with the focus entirely on an attractive woman's musings as she strolls through a stylish urban milieu. There's also more than a hint of American Beauty in the opening shot—instead of roses, Stefani is peppered with photographs (printed out, one presumes, on an HP Photosmart).
The Spin HP may be veering away from its "The Computer is Personal Again" campaign with this ad, but the message remains the same: Our PCs are an artist's best friend. By enlisting Stefani as a spokeswoman, the company is obviously going for a very specific demographic—high-school and college girls of the sort who walk around with sketchbooks and spend their excess cash at bead stores and Anthropologie. This group has rarely been targeted by the tech industry in the past, so HP senses that such young consumers are ripe for the taking. And the Stefani-themed website that accompanies the ad is just as important as the ad itself; if HP can hold those girlish eyeballs with Gwen's art projects, they've got a good shot at selling some extra dv2500ts this semester.