By Hannah Stewart (Comm’19)
Duolingo has its owl, Geico has its gecko and Pillsbury has its doughboy. Now, thanks to a fourth-year student from the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Media Design, tech giant Hewlett Packard has its own mascot: Lucy.
Megan Solis, who is studying advertising and plans to graduate in winter 2023, crocheted the doll mascot as part of her internship at HP. This past spring, Lucy went out into the world via TikTok; Solis’ creativity, meanwhile, ultimately led to her recognition with the company’s InternStellar Award last summer.
“Demand generation is the focus of showing products in use,” Solis said. “But why not do it all? I had a lofty goal to create demand generation, while also increasing viewer engagement and enlarging overall brand awareness.”
Solis didn’t set out to be a master marketer. She initially wanted a career in public relations, and transferred from the University of Texas San Antonio to CMCI to pursue that field. In fact, she discovered her love of advertising through her internship with HP.
“I was on my web browser and was about to type ‘PR internships,’ and then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just look up the best people to work for?’” Solis said.
It was this confidence and self-starter attitude that helped Solis through the rigorous interview process, and eventually her internship.
“She wowed our organization,” said Danielle Jones, Solis’ supervisor. “She’s super creative with regard to how we can develop content.”
Jones is the North America marketing manager for HP, and as a member of that team, Solis was tasked with finding a way to engage with the company’s target audience—which slants Generation Z—and show the products in fun, relatable situations. After considering how other brands leverage social media, Solis had her eureka moment: She’d create a mascot.
Lucy, named for co-founder David Packard’s wife, is a small doll who wears an HP-logoed shirt. She was an instant hit with the HP team.
“It’s a great idea, and we’re excited for Megan to complete this project from beginning to end,” Jones said.
Feeling validated by the positive feedback, and with her HP experience winding down, Solis applied to the InternStellar Award, presented to interns who create measurable and meaningful impact. More than 200 interns applied for this highly competitive distinction.
Winning the award “was an honor,” Solis said. “There was a ceremony where I was able to meet executives and share my accomplishments. It excited me to speak about not only what I have done, but also my plans to carry ideas forward.”
In fact, HP extended Solis’ internship so she could see the project to completion and develop more innovative ideas.
After nearly nine months, HP launched a series of targeted ads featuring the doll in April; during the campaign, at least 10.7 million people saw the TikTok ads. While Solis said it was sometimes stressful to balance her part-time position and her full-time course load, she found it exciting to see parallels between her advertising classes and the work she did to make the Lucy campaign come to life.
“I can relate all my classes directly to what I’m doing in my job,” Solis said. “Being a CMCI student has been helpful because I have a creative, but also a business, background.”