The Economist Group
Agency Group: Other
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Broaden awareness of HPE’s solutions by engaging audiences with a brand experience that speaks to the consumer naturally.
Resonate specifically with HPE’s target audience of IT decision-makers, including outside of the typical 9-5.
As far as we’ve come, corporate IT can still frustrate. In business, there’s often a disconnect between what people want, and what their current technology allows them to do. Instead of an enabler, IT can sometimes feel like a barrier.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) knows IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) – those who actually manage their company’s IT infrastructure – are particularly frustrated. ITDMs are tired of seemingly always having to say no to IT requests:
No, our IT doesn’t work like that.
No, we can’t integrate data.
No, we need to upgrade and that takes time.
No one wins.
YES IS HERE
But with help from HPE, IT chiefs can transform their business and start saying ‘yes’ more often. Our task was to communicate HPE’s existing ‘Yes Is Here’ proposition, showcasing 3 products / services: ‘Hybrid IT’, ‘Intelligent Edge’ and ‘Data & Analytics’.
Seeking to engage, we looked at what IT leaders really cared about outside work. We analysed 500 ITDM Twitter bios and found an overwhelming interest in videogames, in particular classic / retro gaming. It made sense; if you now work with computers, you almost certainly grew up playing them. For ITDMs, only sport and family got more love!
From here, a unique content idea took shape.
Pong was an iconic 80s videogame in which players hit a ball back and forth. As the player tracks the ball from left to right across the screen, they can’t help but shake their head from side to side. Imagine someone watching tennis. Or seen another way, it’s like the player’s constantly saying ‘no’…
To engage ITDMs we’d create a typical Pong-type game – with a twist.
To hit home HPE’s ‘Yes Is Here’ message, our game would visibly rotate onscreen and present a new, vertical play area. Following the ball, players go from shaking their head, to nodding along. In effect, they go from saying ‘no’ to saying ‘yes’!
Beyond an imaginative on-brand moment, our content strategy was to involve ITDMs with the complete HPE story. The basic / retro graphics of the opening ‘no’ phase served as a metaphor for legacy technology: out-of-date IT, holding companies back. While in execution, we’d use gameplay ‘power-ups’ during the modern ‘yes’ phase of the game to demonstrate the benefits on HPE’s products and services. Simply by playing along, ITDMs would understand what HPE had to offer.
Even though ITDMs are receptive to videogames, it was crucial our content struck the right balance between business and playful. To that end, the agency needed a media partner who could credibly deliver business content in such an unconventional way.
Please note: Pong is a trademark owned by Atari and was used for strategy purposes only. Public distribution of these materials with reference to Pong is strictly forbidden and should be replaced with generic mention of legacy ping-pong style games. Please consult with The Economist for advice.
The Yeasayers game was developed with The Economist Group.
Agency and media owner tech teams collaborated and developed the Yeasayers game for The Economist’s mobile channels. We’d not seek to drive ITDMs to our HPE content. Instead, the Yeasayers game was actually embedded within The Economist’s mobile apps! ITDMs would encounter the game front and centre in a credible, popular business environment.
More than ITDM audience reach, this close collaboration was key to our engagement goal – few media outlets cover business subjects with such innovative, off-kilter storytelling. As well as the core ‘no to yes’ concept, 3 in-game ‘power-ups’ provided players a competitive advantage, with each power-up designed around an HPE product:
(1) HYBRID IT is HPE’s transformation solution that mitigates risk. In game, players received a temporary barrier, preventing the ball from being lost if. (2) HPE INTELLIGENT EDGE enables multiple devices to connect and work seamlessly together. Activated in game, players benefitted from two paddles working in tandem. Finally, (3) DATA & ANALYTICS helps companies generate insight and make informed decisions. In game, an onscreen ‘data line’ revealed the exact path of the ball!
Emphasising competitor advantage – and maximising engagement – the computer opponent could also score these HPE themed power-ups!
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Lead Media Agency
Additional Media Agencies
Publicis Worldwide (for consultation)
The Economist Group