Ad of the Day: HP TouchPad

Russell Brand peddles robot butlers

Meet Russell Brand’s “robot butler.” That’s what the comedian, actor, singer — and now pitchman for HP tablets — calls his TouchPad gadget in this new spot from Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Commercials for competitors’ tablets, like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy, have tended to rely heavily on visuals of the devices in use, and HP doesn’t deviate so far from that here. The brand does try though, with some success, to inject humor into what still looks like a product demo, a not-so-riveting genre now that footage of tablets’ more generic functions (e.g. touch screens) has lost its novelty. And while the spot seems to frame the TouchPad’s universal search feature — which rapidly displays returns from the device, web, and applications — as what sets it apart, that point doesn’t cut through all that clearly. 

Brand, meanwhile, offers up some mildly amusing moments, playing both the diva and the “digital manservant.” He also, apparently, has some sort of weird superhuman x-ray vision, demonstrating a unique ability to see through the back of the device well enough to navigate the front, without looking at it. Then there's the ostrich: it's goofy, but what the heck is one is doing in his glitzy apartment. Was it an impulse buy? A leftover party prank? A wayward squatter? And how, exactly, does Brand expect his inanimate tech toy to give the bird the boot?

Ultimately, a string of promos that feature Brand riffing on the TouchPad’s features is more entertaining than the TV commercial. But even those prompted some backlash from the tech world, suggesting that HP should focus more on making a better device, and less on hiring celebrity salesmen.

Agency – Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
CD/Co Chairman – Rich Silverstein
ECD/Associate Partner – Christian Haas
Associate Creative Director – Will Elliot
Associate Creative Director – Mark Sikes
Copywriter – Mitch Gage
Art Director – Kristin Graham
Director of Broadcast Production/ Assoc. Partner – Cindy Fluitt
Executive Producer – Cat Reynolds
Producer – Sara Krider
World Wide Group Account Director – John Coyne
Account Director – Amit Singh
Account Manager – Philippa Cambell
Assistant Account Manager – Kerissa Chan

Production Company – Harvest
Director – Baker Smith
Executive Producer – Bonnie Goldfarb
Head of Production – Rob Sexton
DP – John Perez
Production Designer – Charles Infante
Costume Designer –  N/A
Line Producer –  Mala Vasan

Editorial Company – Arcade
Editor – Christjan Jordan
Executive Producer- Deanne Mehling
Producer – Amburr Farls
Assistant Editors –  Andrew Leggett, Pete D’Andrea, Hilary Ruggiano

Color – Airship
Colorist – Shane Reed
Producer – Sascha Flick

Music Company – APM

Post Production/VFX Company – The Mill
Executive Producer –  Sue Troyan
VFX Producer –  Sabrina Elizondo
VFX Supervisors – Becky Porter, Phil Crowe
Lead Nuke – Becky Porter
Lead Flame Russell – Sarah Eim
Lead Flame Manny TP – Wayne Shepherd
Lead Flame Lea Michelle – Tim Bird
Nuke Artists – Brendan Smith, Nick Taylor, Daniel Lang
2D artists – Narbeh Mardirossan
AE Leads – Tom O’Neil, Brian Hayes
3D Lead – Adam Carroll

Recording Studio – 740 Sound
Mixer – Eric Ryan

End Tag Design & Animation
Executive Producer – Damon Meena
Executive Creative Director – James Price
Associate Creative Director – Aaron Baumle
Producer – Corrine Liebe
Designers – Manny Palad, Craig Hubbard, Alex Davidson
Animators – Craig Hubbard, Patrick Kim, Eddie Watkinson, Manny Palad, Jamie Rockaway