The viral effort," Society for Parental Mind Control," was created by McCann Erickson, San Francisco, and is an amusing extension of HP's earlier award-winning marketing campaign, "The Computer Is Personal Again," which featured NetGen icons Jay-Z and Shaun White.
In the new, multimillion-dollar work, located at controltheirminds.com, consuming teens are asked to choose a PC, then fill in the name of their "target" as well as the target's e-mail address. The receiver gets an e-mail that links to the site, where a young, female voice intones instructions for buying said PC for said teen.
David Roman, VP/Personal Systems Group, HP, says the campaign "provides a humorous way for teens to communicate to their parents what type of PC is right for them."
"When we first read the scripts, the campaign felt really true to something that kids would want to do to their parents," said Brendan Malloy of Black Dog Films, who created the viral videos for the campaign. "Although 'Mind Control' feels like a very technical maneuver only for the techie kids, we cast teenagers that were very typical to get across that all kids are into mind control."
The effort includes traditional, web and viral marketing elements across a wide range of network and cable television, major newspapers, grassroots efforts and a variety of websites such as Facebook, MTV, MySpace, MSN, Bebo, Gurl and Flip.