HP's Smart Printer Saves the Day in GS&P's Toy Story-Like Ad

Lance Acord charmingly brings tech to life

How smart are HP's smart printers? They can outwit a bothersome cat in the middle of the night, that's for sure!

Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Park Pictures director Lance Acord spin such a fanciful yarn in the short film below. As a suburban family sleeps, their sundry smart devices—cameras, fans, a coffee maker, wall outlets, a phone and climate controllers—spring to life. But when Tabby charges the robo-vacuum, chasing it from room to room, only the latest tech addition, a WiFi-connected HP+ printer, can put things right.

Printing Just Got Smart | HP⁺ Smart Printer

As always, Acord delivers the cinematic goods, effectively combining two commercial genres—cutesy humanized tech and flaky/fickle/ferocious felines (anything with cats, really)—in high style. We'd expect no less from the dude whose famous ads range from Volkswagen's "The Force" to Nike's "Dream Crazy."

"Lance's background as an award-winning DP allowed us to give each object a personality through camera angles, lighting or sound design," GS&P executive creative director Laura Petruccelli tells Muse. "He thought about each object as a member of the family—he even gave each one a nickname."

Acord dubbed the printer "Huey" for no real reason, and drew inspiration for HP's live-action cartoon from Pixar fare like Toy Story and WALL-E. (In giving the smart-vac a starring role, Acord may also be making amends for his decision to exclude footage of a Roomba from "The Force." He'd shot a scene with the 'bot gliding by in the background as an homage to Star Wars' droids.)

"Humanity is already being added to smart objects today—nearly every object in our home is smart," Petruccelli says. "They talk to one another, they respond to humans, they even have 'faces.' We wanted to enter their world to introduce HP to the family." But the machine "can't just walk in and belong—he has to earn his place. Kind of like Buzz Lightyear did in Toy Story," she says.

Hmm, maybe the HP hardware could prove its worth by not jamming every damn time we're making copies, how about that? (Kidding, of course. Printers never jam. They're much too smart.)

Three cats appear in the film, and "they were total divas, and had to listen to jazz in order to prepare for their performances," Petruccelli says.

Jazz—really? "No joke!" she says. "This was one of the stranger shoots we ever witnessed," with Acord basically chasing the fur-balls around the set all day. "Turbo" was the top cat for stunts, performing the couch-to-vacuum leap with aplomb. (How about a brand crossover with Walter the Chevy cat?)

Note, also, the stylish soundtrack by sound designer Martin Hernández (Birdman, Revenant) and composer Robert Miller. They contribute "a 'symphony of smart' to bring the audio language for each of our objects to life," Petruccelli says. "By treating this more like a Pixar film rather than an ad for a printer, we really believe people will feel something about their printer, perhaps for the first time."


Ad Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Client: Hewlett Packard
Title of Creative Work: Next Generation of Smart
Live Date: 8/13

HP Chief Marketing Officer: Vikrant Batra                                                            
Global Head of HP Print Marketing: Deepak Masand
Head of Global Print Hardware Systems Marketing, HP:  Ladd Martin
Director of HP+ and Instant Ink Global Marketing, HP: Amelia Iulia Condrea
HP+ Global Marketing Manager: Amy Rowan
HP+ Global Advertising: Kristy Stanaway

Co-Chairman and Co-Founder: Rich Silverstein
Executive Creative Director: Laura Petruccelli
Associate Creative Director: Wes Dorsainvil
Associate Creative Director: Joshua Hacohen
Art Director: Andrew Congleton
Copywriter: Zak DeLange

Director of Production: Leila Gage
Executive Producer/Producer: Tess Kenner

Account Services
Managing Partner: Leslie Barrett
Group Account Director: Melissa Buck
Account Director: Callen Gustafson
Account Manager: Haley Grialou
Assistant Account Manager: Will Young

Business Affairs
Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra
Business Affairs Manager: Howie Mapson 

Brand and Communication Strategy
Partner, Head of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
Partner, Head of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
Group Communication Strategy Director: Dong Kim
Senior Communications Strategist: Matt Hudgins
Junior Communications Strategist: Josh German
Group Brand Strategy Director: Kelly Evans-Pfeifer
Brand Strategy Director: Cassidy Wilber
Senior Brand Strategist: Marisa Perazzelli

Production Company
Company name: Park Pictures
Director / DP -  Lance Acord
Executive Producer - Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Executive Producer - Scott Howard
Sr. HOP / Business - Affairs  Anne Bobroff
Head of Production - Chelsea Schwiering
Executive Producer / Producer - Caroline Kousidonis 
Production Designer - James Chinlund

Editorial Company
Company name: EXILE 
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Editor: Zaldy Lopez
Assistant Editor: Jennifer Chung 
EP: CL Kumpata
HOP: Jennifer Locke
Post Producer: Toby Louie

Company name: a52
VFX Supervisors: Pat Murphy, Jesse Monsour
CG Supervisor: Andrew Romatz
2D VFX Artists: Matt Sousa, Stefan Gaillot, Michael Vaglienty, Patrick Poulatian, Chris Riley, Dan Ellis, Sam Kolber, John Valle, Kevin Stokes, Ujala Saini, Kirk Balden
CG Artists: Bryan Cox, Ariana Ziae Mohseni, Ziyan Zhang, Mike Dupree, Josh Dyer, Jade Smrz, José Limon
2D Designers & Animators: Ekin Akalin, Cindy SooHoo, Sky Bird, Laura Reedy
Producer: Jillian Lynes
Head of Production: Stacy Kessler-Aungst
Executive Producers: Patrick Nugent & Kim Christensen 
Managing Directors: Jennifer Sofio Hall

Color Studio: Primary
Colorist: Daniel de Vue
Color Assists: Ale Amato, Corey Martinez, David Oh
Color Producer: Jenny Bright
Executive Producer, Color: Thatcher Peterson

Music Company: RNDM ORDR
Composer: Robert Miller
Executive Producer: Rani Zarina Vaz
Producer: Ayesha Hassan
Record and Mix: Marc McClusky

Sound Design
Sound Design: Martin Hernandez (M.P.S.E.)
Assistant fx editor: Jaime Sainz
Foley: Alan Riva-Palacio, Jaime Sainz
'huevotes' cat recording: Maluz Orozco

Mix and Sound Design
Company name: Lime Studios
Sound Design: Michael Anastasi - LSD  
Sound Design assistant: Kai Paquin- LSD 
Audio Mixer: Matt Miller 
Audio Assistant: Ian Connie 
Senior Producer: Kayla Phungglan  
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

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