'The Computer is Personal Again': A Global Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG193
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2006-2007
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Large
Industry : Computers
Countries : Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

The history of HP dates back to January 1, 1939, when Bill Hewlett and David Packard started the company in California. Its first product was a resistance-capacitance audio oscillator8 called the Model 200A. The Walt Disney Company was one of the first buyers of the product. In 1951, HP invented the 524A high-speed frequency counter, which reduced the time required to measure high frequencies. In 1957, the company went public. In 1959, HP became a global company with the establishment of a marketing organization in Switzerland and a manufacturing plant in Germany. In 1961, HP entered the medical equipments industry through its acquisition of Sanborn Company.

The medical equipment business was to become a significant source of revenue for the company. In 1966, the company established HP Laboratories to conduct research activities relating to new technologies and products. During the same year, HP launched its first computer, HP 2116A. In 1968, HP introduced the world's first desktop scientific calculator, HP 9100A. However, in the advertisements for the product, HP called it a 'personal computer' (PC).

In 1974, HP launched its first minicomputer. In 1980, it entered the printer market with the launch of inkjet printers and laser printers that connected to PCs. In 1981, HP introduced the HP-85, a PC. In 1983, it introduced its first touch screen PC, the HP-150.

In the 1980s, HP emerged as a major player in the computer industry, with products ranging from desktop machines to powerful minicomputers. In 1995, HP entered the home computing market with the HP Pavilion PC. In 2001-02, the company merged with Compaq9. Initially, HP's various divisions and regions10 advertised and marketed their products independently...

Excerpts >>

8] An audio oscillator is an electronic instrument that generates one frequency at a time and is used to test sound equipment such as stereos, radios, and telephones. The Model 200A had a light bulb in a Wein bridge oscillator circuit to solve the problem of regulating the output of the circuit without causing distortion.
9] Compaq Computer Corporation was founded in 1982 by Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto. The company showed rapid growth in the late 1980s and 1990s and became a dominant player in the server and personal computer market. However, by the late 1990s, it struggled to compete with low cost competitors like Dell. It was merged with HP in 2001-02.
10] The company reportedly engaged the services of 106 different advertising agencies in 2001-02. (Source: Barney Beal, "HP Lets Marketing Direct Strategy," www.searchcrm.com)


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