HP Takes Its Newest Printer Back in Time to Blow Some Minds in 1983

It's the brand's second outing with retro series Computer Show

Computer Show stars comedian Rob Baedeker as hapless host Gary Fabert.

Is color printing even legal? Does it cost as much as a horse? And could the office’s fancy new all-in-one print-scan-copy-fax machine have an actual security guard living inside it?

If it does, Gary Fabert wants to grab a brewski with that guy and “thank him for his service.”

Fabert, host of the intentionally low-fi public-access homage called “Computer Show,” brings back his stuck-in-the-Reagan-era mindset for a new series of ads promoting HP’s A3 multifunction printer. The results from agency Giant Spoon and Sandwich Video are predictably and awkwardly hilarious.

The character, played by actor-comedian Rob Baedeker, is tough to educate because he’s stubbornly analog, but he’s easily carried away when he hears about the equipment’s myriad features.

“It chops, it blends, it purees,” he says. “If it could make a daiquiri, I’d marry it!”

“Computer Show,” a cult favorite in tech circles that snagged its first sponsor deal with HP in February, launches three digital shorts and a blooper reel this week. The segments, dubbed “At the Office,” have Fabert again trotting out his lack of expertise, this time surrounded by co-workers like Duane, the unpaid intern, and Diane, the long-suffering office manager.

While HP rep Janice Henler talks about the printer’s built-in security policy deployment, run-time intrusion, uptime and affordability, Fabert offers his stilted running commentary and tells Duane that he’s “getting replaced by a robot.”

Linking HP with the ongoing “Computer Show” was a smart way to reach IT decision-makers, said Giant Spoon’s co-founder Jon Haber, because B2B marketing “needed to be completely blown up” with something that “speaks through culture.” Comedy and content, especially of the “Computer Show” variety, are proven winners, he said.

The spots are book-ended by Fabert in the now familiar studio setting, circa 1983, spouting lines like, “We’ll be back next time, bringing yesterday’s tomorrow into the future today…always.”

CREDITS
Client: HP
VP, PPS Marketing: Vikrant Batra
Head of Americas, Print Marketing, Shuchi Sarkar
US Commercial Printing Marketing Director: Flavia Paulella Kennedy
Social Media Campaign Manager, Kathleen Barrett

Agency: Giant Spoon
Co-founder: Jon Haber
VP, Brand Management: Pierre Parisot
Senior Brand Manager: Jamie Yang
Director of Strategy: Adam Wiese
Assoc. Director of Strategy: Albert Kugel
Senior Strategist: Elle Bass
Strategist: Mariel Strauch
Jr. Strategist: Madeleine Reeves
Business Affairs: Catherine Huang

Production Company: Sandwich Video
Created by Roxana Altamirano, Tony Altamirano, Adam Lisagor
Director: Adam Lisagor
Executive Producer: Shadie Elnashai
Executive Producer: Adam Lisagor
Written by Joshua Allen, Adam Lisagor, Roxana Altamirano, Rob Baedeker
Producer: Anna Halberg
Director of Photography: Lowell A. Meyer
Art Director: Carlos Laszlo
Wardrobe: Courtney Arthur
Make-up/Hair: Regan Livingston, Afton Williams
Head of Production: Lauren Cynkar
Head of Post: Zach Hobesh
Editor: Liam White
Assistant Editor: Jeff Hodges
Motion Graphics: Jarred Hageman
Music: Adam Deibert