How HP India Is Bonding With Millennials Over YouTube For #BendTheRules

Lloyd Mathias, Head, Marketing, PPS, HP India talks about how the tech giant is bonding with Gen Z , by partnering with YouTube and mentoring them to become 'stars'


Companies in the technology space are striving to keep up pace with the rapidly evolving choices of youngsters. The last few years have witnessed many ancient companies in the information technology sector prep themselves in a bid to appeal to Gen Z, and most are succeeding in their branding efforts. Last year, technology giant, Hewlett Packard had embarked on a global makeover mission to connect with the youth through its campaign ‘Bend the rules’.

Interestingly, the brand had introduced a new product that bends too – the HP Pavilion x360, a value-packed convertible PC, which easily converts from notebook, to stand, to tent, to tablet mode.

Elsewhere and in India, the tech brand celebrated young achievers who were ‘bending the rules’. Deepika Padukone, one of the country’s youngest and most successful actress was roped in as the India face of the brand campaign. Along with a celebrity achiever, ‘Bend the Rules’ also brought forth many youth achievers from various fields, who had bent the rules to find their true passion.

Vijay Singh of Rajputana Customs; Varun Agarwal, founder of Alma Mater and Last Minute films; Comedian Abhish Mathew; Malavath Poorna, the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest; Deepak Ravindran, founder of Innoz; Ishita Malaviya, founder Shaka Surf club, YouTube star Shraddha Sharma and a few others shared their stories of having ‘bent the rules’.

A campaign website housed all these young achiever stories, while also inviting viewers to join in with their own #BendTheRules stories. Later, a short film was made on the winner, Rishabh Gupta and aired on youth channel, Bindass.

The ploy has worked for HP. “The response to the campaign has been great which is evident from our brand imagery scores. There has been significant positive impact on each of the scores and that is helping us to be the Industry leaders,” Lloyd Mathias, Head, Marketing, PPS, HP India shared with our team.

The brand’s objective was to inspire the large Indian millennial population by sharing inspiring stories of real life youth achievers in India. “Nearly 50% of Indian population is less than 25 years of age. And many of these millennials are bending the rules in their lives to achieve success at an early age. Each story is powerful enough to inspire and motivate the millennials to take that extra step and bendtherules of success.”

The HP India YouTube channel is now an array of video stories, not about the brand but about the youth. The #BendTheRules playlist serves for inspiring content while other videos celebrate the creative spirit of today’s millennials. Short videos showcase the talent of these young girls and boys from various creative fields, in other words, the YouTube stars who create content for the next generation.

HP has been partnering with YouTube on various youth led initiatives like the YouTube Fanfest that sees some of the biggest YouTubers gather on stage for unique live shows.

For HP, the YouTube Fanfest brought forth participants who are in a way bending the rules of success by using technology to showcase their talent. Here’s YouTube Fanfest star, Supriya Srivastav aka @Vellapanty enacting Delhi aunties. (You can’t miss the HP Pavilion)

Supriya is part of the 11 winners from the BendTheRules contest for YouTube Fanfest academy. These winners were given the opportunity to be part of YouTube fanfest academy where they learn and get tutored by YouTube stars themselves.

“Every month these stars are being mentored by YouTube stars. The content that is being created is part of the contest wherein they are being continuously coached/groomed to create content. HP is providing them these opportunities and also investing in them to make them ‘stars’,” Lloyd informed.

One of the main factors to this rise in YouTube content creators is the growth of online video consumption in India. “From 500M video views in 2010 to 3.7Bn in 2014. And 70% of this consumption is happening on YouTube. YouTube is a content led platform and 75% of its users are less than 34 years of age,” he shared while explaining why YouTube is the perfect platform for HP to engage with its core audience.

Globally, HP’s #BendTheRules campaign has seen a lot of Vines, Instagram photos and videos doing the rounds on social media. The brand connected with the most followed Vine creators and challenged them to #BendtheRules with the versatile HP X360.

What followed was crazily epic – here’s a snapshot of how top Vine creators, Lele Pons, Brodie Smith, Amymarie Gaertner, Robby Ayala, KC James, and Marcus Johns took up the challenge:

It’s no secret that ‘Bend the rules’ has indeed refreshed the brand avatar as a millennial-focused one. From celebrating real life achievers to encouraging more YouTube stars, the campaign has ensured a healthy connect with Indian millennials. “From the moment we conceived the idea “BendTheRules”, we knew we have a winner platform to engage with our core audience. We are looking at this platform as the one that will build long standing relationship/connect between HP and the millennials”.

A long term platform with the right vision is the way to go for forward thinking brands in this fast evolving digital space. And #BendtheRules has succeeded in building one for HP.