HP Happily Looks Ahead to the Hybrid Future of Working
In fresh ads for HP, actor Murphy Guyer rocks a three-piece suit and executive stache, portraying a CEO-type with outmoded ideas on how to get ahead in today's evolving business world. He anchors "Work Happy," a timely push from Wieden + Kennedy Portland and director Jim Jenkins that shows HP transforming the definition of "workplace" while boosting employee satisfaction and efficiency.
Mr. Boadroom spouts platitudes for success that don't jibe with the images on screen. For example, in the anthem below, he espouses coming in early, working through lunch and burning the midnight oil. But we watch folks use HP tech to get their jobs done at the beach, on ski slopes and around a desert campfire.
"The idea came from recognizing that the world was facing a huge shift in its attitude," W+K creative director Bertie Scrase tells Muse. "Suddenly, the sacrifices we used to make to be successful and the rules we once followed seemed more and more ridiculous. And now, being happy could also mean being more productive."
"We realized early on that we needed someone who represented a bygone era of business, who instantly contrasted with the modern workers we'd meet throughout the film," says W+K creative director Christen Brestup. "This character had to be fun to watch unravel. When we saw Murphy's performance during casting, we knew straight away that he had to be our guy. Murphy gave us a very nuanced performance where he was extremely intense, but still quite charming. So much so that you couldn't take any of what he says seriously, which really helped tell the story in an effective way."
As for Jenkins, "He's a stone-cold, comedy perfectionist," says copywriter Alex Maleski. "You may have a list of alternate lines a mile long. He'll take one look at them and still riff something funnier. He shoots big and pushes for incredible performances."
Here, he masterfully conducts what's essentially a one-note campaign. Basically, the films deliver a variation of the same joke every few seconds. Even so, the approach is consistently amusing and deftly trumpets the brand message across the anthem and these product-specific ads:
Young director Thaddeus McCants helmed "After School," skillfully following Jenkins' playbook.
The push arrives as studies show most Americans prefer hybrid work and increased flexibility. Of course, goofing on office jargon is itself a long-standing meme. That makes the campaign feel instantly familiar, like echoes of happy chat around some pre-pandemic water-cooler.
Other brands nodding to employment trends of late include Apple, Busch Light and Coors Light. Upwork's sweeping, cinematic take was especially tasty, while agency MullenLowe offered an innovating program for moms seeking to enter the ad biz.
ECDs: Ana Balarin, Hermeti Balarin, JP
Creative Directors: Christen Brestrup, Bertie Scrase
Art Director: Alex Nassour
Copywriter: Alex Maleski
Director of Production: Orlee Tatarka
Senior Producer Lead: Mauricio Granado
Associate Producer: Charleston Chambers
Creative Operations: Christina Kim, Mimi Munoz, Sabrina Reddy
Design Producer/Print Producer: Lis Moran
Designer: David Chathas, Jason Scheuermann
Retoucher: Greg Radich, Shay Platz
Strategic Planning: Henry Lambert, Lauren Ivory
Media/Comms Planning: Bobby Souers, Karl Collins
Account Team: Hannah Hewitt, Kristin Postill, Courtney Bay
Head of Business Affairs: Amber Lavender
Executive Business Affairs Manager: Teresa Lutz
Business Affairs Manager: Kristian Evanculla
Talent Payment: Tim Bell
Broadcast Traffic: Joe Chaath
Copyediting: James Yu
Motion Lead: Jeff Ackley
Motion Producer: Cameron Blake
Motion Designer: Oliver Rokoff
Production Company: O Positive
Director: Jim Jenkins
Director, "After School": Thaddeus McCants
Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
Line Producer: Marc Grill
Director of Photography: Trent Opaloch
Production Design/Art Direction: Jason Edmonds
1st AD: Greg McCollum
Editorial Company: Arcade
Editor: Geoff Hounsell
Assistant Editor: Fernando Raigoza
Post Producer: Megan Dahlman
Post Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone
VFX Company: KEVIN
Executive Creative Director/ Partner: Tim Davies
2D Lead Artist: Steve Gibbons
2D Artists: Ben Smith, Dag Ivarsoy, Clarke Rives, Gavin Camp, Rob Winfield, Steve Cokonis, Susanne Scharping
VFX Producer: Andrew Cowderoy
Senior Executive Producer/ Partner: Sue Troyan
Shoot Supervisor: Pete Smith
Company: Company 3 NY
Senior Color Producer: Alexandra Lubrano
Colorist: Tom Poole
Music Company: Walker Music
Executive Producers: Sara Matarazzo, Stephanie Pigott
Producer: Danielle Soury
Publisher: ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
Label: ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
Artist/Writer: Stelvio Cipriani
Company: Field Day Sound
Sound Design: Morgan Johnson
Mix: Noah Woodburn
Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy
Space Needle: The Space Needle is a registered mark of Space Needle LLC and is used under license.