Surely you remember the failed advertising campaign for the original Palm Pre. Palm’s ads features an all-too-creepy pale woman talking about how her phone can read her mind, all while a background of clouds flows in the background. The product in question is shown for a few seconds at the end of the commercial. Juxtaposed to the iPhone commercials of that day, which clearly conveyed the advantages of the phone while showing it in use, it was no wonder that reception of the original Palm Pre was paltry (and all subsequent models shared a similar fate).
Has anyone seen the recent HP TouchPad TV spots? They’re as bad, perhaps worse, than the Pre ads of yesteryear. They’re very much obscure, showing a given celebrity with the tablet covering their face as they flip through applications, finally revealing a picture of their face on the tablet at the end. Each time I’m left wondering: now what did I learn? I’ve learned that the TouchPad can flip through apps like any other tablet, that it can play games like any other tablet, and that it can play movies–like any other tablet. In advertising, it’s important to arouse an emotion to create a connection with the product in question. The HP TouchPad ads fail at this. They’re horrible, and make me disinterested in the TouchPad.