November 27, 2008

HP Reveals All

HP certainly revealed a lot of things (but not their pricing) at yesterday’s press conference to launch their new range of business notebooks and desktops for Sri Lanka. The press conference was held at the Trans Asia and surprisingly enough for Sri Lanka, it started only about 15 minutes late :)

The first thing to be revealed was of course, the new notebooks. In the process, HP also revealed their lack of taste, decorum, or any indication that they knew which country they were in. Why? Because they had models in skimpy outfits strutting around showing off the notebooks as if they were having some sort of catwalk fashion show. Sure, HP calls itself a "green" company and sells a lot of PCs, but they certainly showed the fact that they are not PC at all and that they are very green when it comes to doing tasteful marketing 😀

The ladies doing the modeling, no offence to them, were terribly over-made-up and under-clothed. They had this horrible blue eye-shadow which made them look like zombies and these skimpy skirts which would hike up when they got on the stage and if you were half a foot shorter than me, you probably could see their underwear as they got on stage. Yes, it was that short! And the showcasing of the notebooks? They simply walked around in front of the seated audience, giving them a glimpse of the notebook, which was totally useless because you didn’t get any of the details. But then again, this was all for effect and not really to let the participants get any useful info, right? And not once did any of the models smile, look pleasant or in any other way try to make the audience feel like taking a second look at the computers.

But then again, most of the guys there were probably busy looking a little bit below the computers, which were at eye level, to notice if the models were smiling or if any of the computers were even powered on :p

Given that this was a gathering of journalistic types and the abundance of pocket-feminists and armchair-nationalists who normally rise up to talk about "objectification of women" and "2500 years of cultural history", I was surprised that nobody pointed out the fact that apart from being utterly tasteless and tacky, this was also something which went against the culture of Sri Lanka and was degrading towards women. I’ve never understood why you needed a scantily clad woman to sell a car or a computer – you’re not buying the woman, you’re buying the item. Do we really need this kind of senseless, appealing-to-the-gonads type of advertising here in Sri Lanka as well? (Or did I lose the one single reader I have at "scantily clad"? :p)

Of course, that was just the beginning of things. HP talked up their products but gave no concrete answers to questions about how much these new products would sell for or even how much their current products sell for. They also kept harping on the fact that they weren’t a price-based organization because their products came with value-additions that others didn’t have. When asked what these value-additions were though, they were again rather vague – talking about doorstep service to customers. But then they went on to say that they don’t sell any HP products directly but do so through their network of authorized dealers and that all value-additions are provided by the dealers. So how do they even know that this mythical doorstep service exists? I’ve certainly never heard of it.

As the title says, HP certainly revealed a lot of things at this press conference, but not many of the things revealed were complimentary to the organization. The products showcased were good but given the lack of pricing information and HP’s insistence that they are not price-based because in the total cost of ownership, the price of the machine is a mere fraction, I certainly wouldn’t be dreaming HP anytime soon :)

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Tags: Gadgets, Real Life, Society
Posted by Fahim at 5:27 am   Comments (2)