There's nothing sadder than a buttoned-down corporate type trying to look hip by name dropping and co-branding. So, if you had any lingering doubt as to why Carly Fiorina had to go, a quick look at Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE:HPQ) Gwen Stefani digital camera ought to make things clear. This "Harajuku" camera set was inspired, we're led to believe, by the shopping district in Tokyo where teens gather to spend their change, gab, and be seen.

It looks more like it was designed by a few bored schoolgirls in an afternoon of brainstorming. Under the HP badge is a mix of Japanese and English characters saying "Harajuku Lovers," the name of Stefani's design line. There's yet more Engrish around the lens, where the camera runs a promo for Gwen's latest album, "Love, Angel, Music, Baby."

I have no doubt that this limited edition will sell out: Cheesy stuff has an audience of its own. When we're all just a set of wired-up heads in jars watching "Antiques Road Show 2070" on the Holo-vision, I'm sure these will fetch a pretty sum. But whether they make any sense for HP is another question entirely.

Teaming up with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the iPod made a lot more sense -- at least as far as building HP's street cred as a source for hot peripherals. But a stickerized version of an admitted also-ran in the digital photography category?

The leaders in that space are venerable photo names like Canon (NYSE:CAJ), Eastman-Kodak (NYSE:EK), and Sony (NYSE:SNE). I'm not sure hip can help HP here -- even if it could manage to figure out what that is. After all, this is an area that's subject to brutal price wars and very little in the way of follow-up sales, at least not the kind HP could capture -- unlike the consumables that go into its printer.

The sad thing is that HP has proven it can do the hip thing with those cool, Kinks-tuned printer commercials with the photos morphing into reality and back. Sure, with Lexmark (NYSE:LXK) and others in the printer space, printers aren't an easy gig. But these are sales worth working for. They provide the kind of locked-in consumers that continue to pay off through their purchases of HP printer supplies. Don't forget that the consumables, not the hardware, have been the leading engine in the firm's digital imaging revenue growth.

Forget about Gwen, HP. Dance with the girl you brought. That's the one who makes the picture, not the one who takes it.

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Seth Jayson looks forward to HP's new Ashlee Simpson line of enterprise servers. At the time of publication, he had positions in no firm mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.