Compaq Presario: Technology takes the humorous route

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | October 20, 2005
The idea of the latest TVC of Compaq Presario might appear clichéd, but the novelty lies in the way the subject has been treated

One doesn't need to & #BANNER1 & # use technical jargon to sell a computer when plain humour can achieve results. Compaq Presario has always believed in this, be it a TVC for its desktop (in which a guy changes the colour of his desktop to match his girlfriend's dress), or the latest TVC for its wide-screen notebook.

Ajay Ahluwalia, creative director, Publicis, says, "General consumers in India still believe that computers are for tech-savvy people. A humorous approach helps to change this perception and gives computers a user-friendly image just like any other consumer durable."

Compaq Presario's latest TVC opens with a girl sitting before her laptop, happy anticipation written on her face. The next scene shows her father chatting with her on his laptop. She sends a message: "Hi Dad! Mailing you Karan's pictures."

Excitedly, the father calls his wife to look at the photo of their future son-in-law. But the parents are crestfallen when they see a man with a weird hairdo on the left of their daughter. The mother laments, "Maine kaha tha na aapko abroad bhejoge to aisa hi hone wala hai (I told you this is what will come of our sending her abroad)."

Then it is revealed that the daughter is using a Compaq Presario with a wide screen, and on her screen can be seen a handsome young man to her right. Unfortunately, the parents cannot see their actual future son-in-law because their computer has a smaller screen. At this point, the voiceover says: 'Get the bigger picture and connect wirelessly with Compaq Presario wide-screen notebook.'

When you want to highlight the wide-screen aspect of any product, the obvious thought is that of missing text or missing part of a picture. By that reckoning, the idea of the TVC might appear clichéd, but the novelty comes from the treatment of the subject. The right dash of humour in an otherwise dry product like a computer and its seasoning with human emotions makes the ad unique.

As Ahluwalia says, "The idea is to make the product more accessible to people. We wanted to highlight the human values for which Hewlett Packard products stand. Banking on its gizmo value would have just made people scared of the product - that is not what we were aiming at. Our aim was to reach out to the masses and the commercial achieved this."

Explaining the strategy behind the TVC, Sandeep Madan, vice-president, Publicis India, says, "We played with a situation that is very true to life. Many parents fear that their children will pick the wrong partner while they are abroad. We tried playing around with those emotions, but added a humorous touch."

Gul Raj Bhatia, country manager, consumer segment, marketing, Hewlett Packard, says, "We want to broaden our consumer base. Our target group is the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) segment - people who are buying the product for their home, self-employed people or students."

Bhatia continues, "The wide-screen notebook has immense potential in the market, especially with prices falling in this category. We wanted to convey this message in a clear, unambiguous manner, which the TVC does pretty well."

Filmmaker Sabal Singh Shekhawat says he made sure that the weird man on the daughter's left did not seem to represent any particular community as is commonly seen in many TVCs.

Shekhawat says, "We got a brief to work on the concept of mistaken identity. We wanted to portray a situation that looked real and not contrived."

Playing in the background is the romantic Al Martino song, 'I'm in the mood for love', ably offsetting the humour. The song juxtaposes the romantic mood of the girl against the shock being experienced by her parents.

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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