HP wanted to use the 2006 World Cup to raise its profile. The catch was HP wasn’t an official sponsor.
Fingerskilz is a blog fronted by an obsessive HP user who creates a series of iconic ‘Fingerskilz’ films.
The site attracted over 10 million visitors, 200,000 of them in the first 48 hours and the idea captured the attention of TV, newspapers and blogs worldwide, spawning countless YouTube copies. This article in the New York Times sums up this multi award winning campaign:
New York Times Published: July 25, 2006
Hewlett-Packard Takes a New Tack: Being Cool
FOR weeks, an unusual Web site linked to the World Cup soccer tournament kept visitors guessing: Could this be real?
The site, FingerSkilz.tv, shows what appear to be close-up videos of a man’s hand on a desk, using two fingers to perform soccer tricks with a wadded-up paper “ball.’’ The Brazilian-style handiwork attracted more than 180,000 unique visitors to the site, prompted widespread discussion on blogs and moved imitators to create their own “fingerball’’ videos and post them on the Web.
Last Thursday, the site, supposedly created by a bored young office worker, was revealed to be a “viral’’ advertisement from HP, the leading edge of a new global campaign that aims to imbue H.P.’s machines with some of the coolness more commonly associated with Apple.
Hewlett-Packard started the campaign, the first global ad blitz on behalf of its personal systems group, in the United States a few weeks before the World Cup. Now that the tournament is over, with a better chance of drawing the rest of the world’s attention, the company is extending the campaign to other big markets.
H.P. executives say the new campaign, which includes television and print advertising in addition to a variety of edgier approaches, is aimed at shaking up perceptions of the company as slightly stodgy, an image that has been reinforced by conservative corporate brand campaigns with themes like “everything is possible.’’
Hewlett-Packard says the success of the FingerSkilz site demonstrates the effectiveness of nontraditional marketing approaches. At one point, more than 20 percent of British visitors to a company site created as part of the new PC campaign came from FingerSkilz, which ran a banner ad for Hewlett-Packard.
Role and responsibilities: Executive Creative Director
Awards: BIMA; Cannes; D&AD;Revolution; London International Advertising; Eurobest
MRM Worldwide 2006