Liquid Agency Brand Marketing

Here are our latest success stories.

These case studies outline the objectives, process and solutions we’ve developed for some of our favorite projects. If you’d like to learn more about our work, please send us a note. We've done a lot of stuff we’re not allowed to publish on this website.

HP Spectre: An exceptional product.

Some things move us in ways we cannot describe. They break the rules and dare to be different. The HP Envy 14 Spectre is one of these things. Designed for the most discerning user, it pushes the boundaries of what a PC can be. HP's first multi-surface glass notebook is nothing short of extraordinary, so HP asked us to develop a unique identity that would help the HP Spectre stand out from the rest. More than a logo, we developed a complete visual style that influenced lifestyle as well as product photography and set the stage for a product presentation that is sophisticated, glamorous, fashionable and elegant - in other words very different than HP's traditional approach, which relies on technical speeds and feeds.

A unique logotype that captures the dark spirit of Spectre.

The name Spectre evokes images of a mysterious and elusive creature of the night. The product's wonderfully minimalist design features black glass on top and bottom, giving Spectre an extremely sophisticated and premium feel. At Liquid we described Spectre as the PC that Batman had stolen from Darth Vader. Without a question, Spectre is an irresistible object of desire, and we wanted to bring these notions to the surface through the identity. The logotype is based on Futura (HPs corporate font), but we modified the letter "C" in the middle of the word, creating a shape that evokes the moon - when it is just a sliver in the night's dark skies. The result is a logotype that is elegant and sensuous, yet it also has an air of mystery that complements the product's darkly sensuous design.

Visual Style.

In order to set Spectre apart from other HP products, and create an aura that would also completely differentiate it from all other PCs on the market, we developed a visual language that reflected the qualities of the product. The mood for the visual style needed to evoke words like chic, couture, mystery, sleek, urban, sophisticated, hi-tech and sexy. As part of the exhaustive visual style exercise we considered elements that included materials, textures, colors, environments, fashion, design, typography, lighting, etc. This exercise informed the development of the photographic assets, as well as the design direction for many of the marketing tools and materials.

Lifestyle Photography.

Liquid reviewed the work of dozens of photographers, gravitating towards photographers that specialized more in fashion than high-tech. Ultimately we selected a photographer based in Portland, Oregon and produced the lifestyle shoot there. Portland proved to be a fantastic place to shoot in terms of the versatility of the city and the access to some wonderful locations. Liquid managed the entire shoot, providing art direction that included casting, location scouting, wardrobe and set styling, etc. Over a few days, we shot a great variety of images that showcased Spectre in situations that ranged from work environments to social settings. All of the images were shot using a dark, rich and sensuous color palette and dramatic lighting that enhanced the mysterious and sophisticated nature of the product.

The Spectre Lighting Effect.

In order to create a photographic visual style that was completely ownable and identifiable as belonging to the Spectre campaign, we developed what we called the Spectre Lighting Effect. Essentially, we layered a halo lighting technique inspired by the "moon" in the Spectre logo over the photographic images. This effect worked well on lifestyle as well as product shots, and created an immediately recognizable technique.

Spectre Brand Guidelines.

In order to ensure that the Spectre brand and visual style would be executed consistently across the world, we developed a comprehensive set of guidelines that address logo usage, color palette, photographic style, messaging, etc. Additionally, this helpful tool provided links to the library of assets that could be used by agencies worldwide as they created localized marketing materials for their regions.

Lifestyle Video.

To tell the truth, we had not planned in advance for a video - but after finishing the shoot it became apparent that it would have been great to have captured video footage along with some of the stills. So, we worked with the photographer and produced a nice little piece of motion graphics using outtakes from the three day shoot. The result turned out better than anyone expected. The fast cuts and dynamic music gave the final video a modern and fashion-forward feel that fit perfectly with the Spectre brand. Ultimately we launched the video at HP's hospitality suite at the Sundance Film Festival - which we must admit was a bit intimidating - but it all worked out well and was received with great enthusiasm by HP and the star studded audience that attended the events.

Retail Explorations.

Given that Spectre is unlike most other PCs we worked with HP to explore alternative ways that the product could be promoted at retail. After evaluating a wide breadth of ideas we ended up agreeing that building kiosks in which we could provide a more controlled experience for the systems was the most appropriate option. Liquid designed a structure that is being used to showcase the top-of-the-line HP products in key metropolitan cities including New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Spectre gets the VIP treatment.

As part of the pre-release activities we designed a special gift box to be handed out to VIPs, celebrities and influencers. The gift box contained a black card that could be redeemed for a brand new HP Envy Spectre as soon as they were available.