HP basked in the glory and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival at the end of May, as its only B2B sponsor. The deal, which involved HP providing a broad range of different print services for events at the festival, took on extra resonance this year, as it was the event's 60th anniversary. It is understood to have been worth at least £1 million.
The technology and imaging giant used the world-famous festival as a means of reaching a variety of B2B audiences, either communicating directly or through corporate hospitality. These included the senior decision makers in the global film industry, professional photographers and CIOs of major satellite and communications organisations.
Dan Gates, director of global brand communications at HP, comments, "We're doing multiple things for multiple audiences. We want to be seen to be supporting creativity and helping creative people achieve what they want to achieve."
This is the third year that HP has sponsored Cannes and represents its biggest investment to date. Activity associated with the festival included various large-format print sizes, an exhibition of photography from the 60 years of the festival and data variable print for personalised commemorative books issued to all VIPs. The HP Digital Studio and Digital Lounge located in the famous Majestic Barriere Hotel demonstrated the supplier's latest notebooks, PCs, handhelds, digital imaging and printing solutions. HP was also responsible for redesigning the festival website, incorporating leading-edge Web 2.0 functionality.
Other festival sponsors included L'Oreal and Renault, all restricted to specific product areas. "There is no competition," says Gates.
Gates explains that the primary audience was the global film industry, which represents a growing audience for HP. "Film and content is increasingly digital in its production, distribution and enjoyment," he comments.
However, the opportunity for client entertainment at the festival was also recognised as significant by HP. "It's a great place for hospitality," says Gates. "But it's also quite different - sports sponsorship is very well developed. Cannes is very spouse-friendly which gives us access to people who would not normally attend hospitality events."
The festival is also attended by up to 1000 professional photographers, who are all potential HP customers.
Sponsorship of Cannes is part of a growing commitment to film and the visual arts at HP - the brand also sponsors the Sundance Festival in the US, the Stockholm Film Festival and will be sponsoring the London Film Festival in London in October for the first time.
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