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.

CREDITS

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