Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Violence against Printers

Samsung has a new online advertising campaign that includes an interactive game allowing users to "virtually" destroy a printer. I can't speak to the game's higher levels, as I was stuck on level one during my testing, but the initial round features the user wielding a baseball bat (controlled via the mouse) while in a dark alley complete with visiting rodents, and up against what looks like a genericized (no branding visible) HP (NYSE HPQ) LaserJet 4MP.

I had one of these printers for many years and LOVED it so not sure where the motivation for this choice comes from, but we've seen enough YouTube videos and the like featuring printer abuse, so the evolution (de-volution?) to this game is not surprising. And after all, it's often the printer at the end of the user interface chain, and a problem with the hard copy is usually blame on the last component to touch it (or not deliver it at all, at least as expected.)

Samsung is using the online ad (entered through the banner on the left) to tout their full line-up of laser printers, "new printers you won't want to destroy". I've covered Samsung's creative advertising in the past (e.g. "Samsung's Internet Printer") but I found it interesting they're attacking HP, beyond the fact that they're #2 and HP's #1 in printer sales worldwide. For those familiar with the history of Internet advertising, HP pioneered with one of, if not the, first online games embedded into an Internet ad, a pong game touting HP LaserJets in about 1996, if my memory serves me.


max said...

Jim, sorry, looks like a really stupid thing to do. What's missing is a broom and recycling bins for plastic, metal and toxic to tidy up after the bash. That would be a really funny thing to do - tidy up before moving onto the next level. :-)

Anonymous said...

This looks like a thinly veiled tribute to the very popular scene in the cult favorite move, Office Space.

In it, a gang of frustrated office workers who are sick and tired of ambiguous error messages like "PC Load Letter" take an office laser printer out to the parking lot and angrily destroy the printer while gangsta music thumps in the background.

The slow motion action, exagerrated echoes of their drop-kicks hitting the plastic, and the dramatic finale of one of the guys swinging a wiring harness and printer guts is very entertaining and gratifying for anyone who has had problems with a printer.

A genius coup by Samsung and hopefully the viral 'you gotta see this' marketing will ensue....

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the game is not easy to win... Hard to destroy that pritner. Maybe that generic HP is as much a warhorse as the legend suggests.