Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hand that Reads

When I saw the new Hewlett Packard advertisements in the TIME magazine last week, I was immediately reminded of Jonathan Safran Foer's cover art for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", ( both images feature a hand with the whimsical font) but, ofcourse, I put it down to coincidence. However, today's National Post confirms that HP used the same artist, Jonathan Gray, to do the images for their new campaign. The advertising agency contracted by HP felt that the iconic hand would help HP's new advertising campaign dubbed "The Computer is Personal", by generating a more human feel.

What do the people at Houghton Mifflin (Jonathan Safran Foer's publishers) think? Apparently they are happy with the ads.

So all that remains to be asked is, is there a cryptic message in JSF's novel that HP wants to convey to its customers? :) I hope not.


Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Your observations are brilliant, Lotus.

Rosemary Esehagu said...

Hello Lotus,

I haven't read Foer's book, so I wouldn't know if there is a hidden message or connection.

Still, I will say that the hands, as depicted in the hp ad, are uniquely human. Looking at the ad's art alone (and squinting a bit), I get a sense that the computer is *playing* with the human hand, rendering the computer more human by association.

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, Susan! :) But to be perfectly honest, it took the National Post to convince that there was a connection.

Hi, Rosemary!

Thanks so much for your observations, those are good ads, aren't they? I thought the hand fit right in with the "Computer is Personal" campaign. I guess I'm very alert to ads and commercials because that is hubby's line of work.

David D Jerald said...

Hi Lotus!
I haven't seen the ad or heard of the book. I have never heard of Foer. But just so you don't think I'm to dense I did read an article on Aol that was about the top ten stocks you should dump.
HP was one of them.
You truly are a very observant gal.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Dave!

I'll do the book reviews and you bring me the stock market news! Sound like a plan? :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Stefanie said...

What a strange similarity

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Stefanie

Thanks for visiting. Your blog has so many interesting posts, I hardly know where to start! :) I plan on exploring it tomorrow when I have a little more time.

Unknown said...

Hmm, very interesting! I know of the book but I haven't read it yet. I wonder why HP decided to use those ads. They are so different from the ones I know.

Jude said...

Interesting stuff Lotus

David D Jerald said...

Ok lotus you have a deal. Any special stock you want to keep track of?

bibliobibuli said...

heye hey - i was going to blog this - the ads are all over ther newspapers here too ... and i was actually very angry about it 'cos i thought hp (whom i otherwise love) were ripping off jsf's cover 9which won a design award at (the vic and albert museum incidentally) ... well done for tracking this down

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, Angela and Jude, for visiting and leaving comments!

Dave - I'll have to get back to you on this one! And you know I will! ;)

Hi, Bibliobibuli

Dare I say great minds think alike? :)))

Seriously tho', since Houghton Mifflin haven't raised any objections, I'm assuming the campaign will be mutually beneficial to both parties, but you're right, at first glance HP does seem to be capitalizing on Foer's popular novel and the intriguing cover art (I didn't know it had won a design award, thanks for the info.) It will be interesting to see how the campaign plays out for HP. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Nolan said...

Another ad. Even more similiar.
I found this one on the back of a magazine! Oh dear.