Ad of the Day: Staples

There are better ways to spruce up your office than screensaving it into shape

Office-supply ads in the U.S. aren't generally known for their subtle wit. In Argentina, it's another story. A new Staples spot from David, the Ogilvy & Mather-owned ad agency that opened in Buenos Aires (and São Paulo, Brazil) earlier this year, somehow manages to make the purveyor of printer paper and folders seem practically cool by ditching the annoying red "Easy" button (you know the one) and embracing a little lo-tech quirk.

The hard truth, as the ad states, is that most offices are awful environments. The HQ office of imaginary "Unlimitech Solutions," which apparently hasn't redecorated (or bought new PCs) since the late '90s, is especially bad. So, with a group of important visitors on their way up, the boss decides the place needs a little refreshing. His assistant responds by throwing up a Windows 95 screensaver on her messy desktop computer, and then on every other unsightly surface in the room, which she pronounces "classy," utterly deadpan. Of course, with a few clicks of the mouse (and a strange little electronic soundtrack), Unlimitech could have solved its dilemma with some file holders and new monitors from Staples. It may not be as "classy" of a result, but it's a little easier on the eyes.

The beauty of this spot is that it completely ditches the usual, polished TV aesthetics. Both the old and the new Unlimitech offices (screensaver version notwithstanding) look like dumpy places you've probably worked at. The spot's simple, middle-management realism hits a subtly funny note, proving you don't need a shtick to make a memorable ad.

Client: Staples
Agency: David, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Executive Creative Directorss: Joaquin Cubria, Analia Rios
Creative Directors: Matias Lafalla, Ramiro Gamallo
Art Director: Ricardo Casal
Copywriter: Juan Javier Pena
Production Company: argentinacine
Director: Rafael Lopez Saubidet
Photography Director: Julian Ledesma
Producers: Nano Tidone, Marcos Landajo
Editor: Agustin De Vittorio
Postproduction: Aldo Ferrari, Luli Jimenez