HP just recently launched a new video contest which they're hosting on their YouTube channel called the HP You on You Project that invites people from around the world to create and share videos that express who they are – WITHOUT showing their faces. The contest is an extension of HP’s “The PC Is Personal Again” ad campaign which you probably have seen that features celebrities such as tennis champion Serena Williams, recording artist Fergie, and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. They appear in a series of "hands" commercials discussing what they do with their HP PCs that do not show any of their faces.
It appears to me that by their selection of these particular celebrity spokespeople that HP is definitely trying to market to a younger, hipper, female audience with this campaign. With two strong, well-known women in the mix, plus one young, hot guy, they should be engaging well with this audience. It a bit different than this HP ad that ran earlier this year with NBA all-star Kevin Garnett wandering through his daily routine and using his HP to check up his competition.
Anyhow, this new contest is really about encouraging creativity. HP is utilizing new video remixing and webcam video creation tools on YouTube that allow people of all skill levels to submit high-quality, professional looking videos that showcase their own individuality.
“HP hopes to inspire and foster creativity,” said David Roman, vice president, Marketing Communications, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Combining personal passions, digital remixing tools and the YouTube stage means we’ll be able to gather, celebrate and reward expressions of originality like never before.”
So what is truly unique about these video submissions is that entrants must NOT show their face or the faces of any other people in their video. Therefore, no one should be recognizable. The video should express the spirit of innovation and self-expression enabled by HP computer products. The YouTube site gives suggestions such as volunteering activities, rescuing stray dogs, climbing mountains, weaving baskets underwater, whatever defines you. Here's a sample video from Natalie, a blogger who's passion is sewing:
The contest runs through Aug. 30th and offers contestants a chance to win more than $300,000 in cash and prizes. Each week a panel of experts will select the top 20 videos as semifinalists. YouTube users will then vote to select the top four videos, which will then be in the running to win the grand prize of $40,000 along with recognition of the video on the YouTube homepage. After six weeks, each of the 100 semifinalists selected by YouTube will receive an HP Artist Edition notebook PC, and the 20 finalists selected by YouTube viewers also will each receive $2,500. The first-, second- and third-place winners will receive $40,000, $20,000 and $15,000 prizes, respectively.
So while we have seen a great number of brands launching user-generated video contests over the past couple of years this one does do a good job of integrating the theme of the contest with their branding and making it fun and interesting for consumers at the same time. If anyone decides to enter, please let us know. Once created, this type of video is a great way to promote yourself as well as your business and share it through your social networks.