#BendTheRules – HP’s Genius SMM Campaign

4 Min Read. |

Founded in a one-car garage and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Hewlett-Packard Company (also known as HP) was an American global information technology company. It augmented and delivered a wide variety of hardware, software components and related services to the government, health and education sectors, other consumers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and large business ventures. The company was founded by William Redington Hewlett and David Packard. They started with a series of electronic test equipments.

The Company provides value creation and business solutions to its customers by offering IT industry’s broadest portfolios of products and services that create infrastructure, software, and services through innovation. By leveraging the scope of its offerings and the strengths and capacity of its individual business units the Company designs its solutions to provide base in security, cloud, mobility and big data domains.

The company recently split into two different corporate organizations: HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

HP has built a network of over 6 million followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Vine. The company understands the power of social media as a strong marketing aid and has mobilized customer engagement by implementing an unconventional strategy across several platforms.

They have developed a widely established presence by maintaining constant activity on approximately all of the prominent social media sites. It is also evident that they devote ample time and resources to make their social media presence as impactful and strong as possible.

HP’s Business Objectives

The business objective behind the digital marketing campaign was to promote HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop. The purpose was also to give the brand a youth makeover establishing connect with younger audiences. HP wanted to get recasted as young and rebellious with this social media campaign.

Approach / Strategy adopted by HP

Vikrant Batra – Vice President, worldwide marketing, HP said the company decided to target high school and college students for its low-priced computer, which can be switched between being a tablet and a laptop. He also reiterated the key point that culture can’t be forced into the brand, instead the brand needs to fit in with the culture. One has to be comfortable with giving up control. Understanding the fact that young millennial spends hours on Vine, HP in association with agency 180LA, invited Vine creators on Niche to submit ideas that signify the product’s versatility, using the hash tag #BendTheRules as a positive influence on the young audience. Niche is a platform that supports brands locate social media content generators.


Content was created pertaining to use of HP products by Vine Stars, cutting across social media networks and communicating with consumers on various mediums. In the 2015 edition, content generators had become iconic. They were also being rendered with grand budgets to carryout stunts, ranging from giant truck trick captures to being torched to striking through glass.

Rob Le Bras-Brown, HP’s Senior VP of Marketing described the idea behind the social media campaign. He said that it was planned to find creative people in social media, “Vine Stars” in particular and then entrusting them with the machine and finally summoning them to be imaginative with it within few seconds.

180LA brought together the biggest stars from Vine, YouTube and Instagram along with one of the most famous pop stars in the world, Meghan Trainor, for HP’s 2014 holiday campaign, thereby producing the official music video for “Lips Are Movin’”, Meghan’s new release.


More than just making cameos in the final video, the social media superheroes had a huge task. Each social media hero leveraged the diversity, adaptability and other variant features of HP’s convertible laptop, the HP Pavilion x360, to integrate on the creative production activity. They spearheaded the creative process, using HP’s technology for everything starting from Meghan’s hair and makeup, to the dance choreography and set design. Each social star documented their participation in the video during the shoot and exploded it to their respective massive imaginations through Vine, YouTube and Instagram. This resulted in a wide number of posts that gave all the fans a much closer look at creating the music video.


Results achieved by HP

This campaign was a grand success making HP Pavilion x360 one of the widely sold laptops.

Engagements on #BendTheRules content across social media platforms crossed over 25 million even before the music video was launched. The music video had 2 million organic views just after two days of its launch, which is more than the first month viewership of Meghan’s hit release “All About That Bass”. Within four weeks of its release the brand new music video “Lips Are Movin'” had over 45 million organic views and today its views are over 333 million.


The reason this social media campaign worked is that it speaks to its desired market as a part of HP’s current emphasis on renovating its brand to charm a younger population. It was also very effective because it made influencers within its own campaign to create a favorable impact for them.

Photo credit: Stylemile, Vine

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