To Get It Right, Do It Yourself

Who knew the creatives at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners would take the title of the Cure song “Pictures of You” so literally?

The dreamy song, from the Cure’s classic 1989 album Disintegration, is featured in Goodby’s latest Hewlett-Packard ad, the first TV spot in a new $300 million consumer campaign tagged “You + HP.” Shot in two weeks in Barcelona, the commercial shows people taking pictures with digital cameras in a town square, in a restaurant, on a bench and along a beach. The scenes shift and change, appearing to be overlaid with squares resembling still photos. White copy reads, “You see photos everywhere you look,” and “You are a point-and-click revolutionary.”

“It was like shooting a feature film,” says John Norman, associate creative director/art director. “It’s about people having the power to make images and create images.”

More than 100 actors appear in the spot—and if you look carefully, you can see Norman and his copywriter partner among them. While filming the bench scene, Norman and Mike McCommon wanted a little more variety—so they jumped onto the set themselves. “We needed different people. It wasn’t for any other reason,” Norman says. They made it through the editing process and appear for a split second in the final ad.

Back in San Francisco, the spot was screened for staffers, and at the key moment when Norman and McCommon appear, “they stopped it in front of the whole agency,” Norman says. “It got a big laugh.”