Most people print only when necessary, but a sense of guilt remains. Can I avoid printing this? Is it truly needed? HP wants to flip this mindset with a gorgeous 60-second spot, from Wieden+Kennedy and directors Megaforce, where trees are printed in a tempo that people print documents.
Timed with the sound of a printer beginning a job, saplings sprout from the ground. As the printing process unfolds, so do branches from the growing trees that protect wildlife. The process is oddly hypnotic until it hits a jam at 40-seconds—a printer jam, complete with error message.
“Who would have thought printing could lead to growing trees?” says a soothing voiceover. “With HP+, we regenerate forests for every page you print,” adds copy.
The company offset the carbon footprint of the shoot by planting 40 trees in the Amazon.
Muse spoke with Christen Brestrup and Bertie Scrase, creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy Portland, to learn more about the whimsical ad and how HP printing can be considered beneficial to the environment.
Muse: Printing benefits the environment? Explain.
Bertie Scrase: HP has an affiliation with the WWF to replant 1 million acres of forest, to grow the same amount of trees and more that are used when printing. In a knee-jerk society, we need to give more thought to things like sustainable footprint and technology. Can we rethink how we view printing something? Can paper be regenerated?
Christen Brestrup: HP is pushing to have less of a carbon footprint and do better as a company. They’re big on sustainability. HP thinks of the consumer, thinks of the environment. The broader aspects of how we treat each other.
How did the creative evolve from the WWF partnership?
Christen Brestrup: We wanted the campaign to be direct and have a magical feel to it. This was a leap of faith in advertising that doesn’t really exist anymore. Things are tested and retested typically. Vikrant Batra (CMO of HP) saw the vision in the script and trusted us.
Bertie Scrase: Telling the story without loads of voiceover is not super new. We tell it in an innovative way. When we take from nature, we have to give back. It doesn’t show a single HP product. It just uses sound. We knew it would be a 60-second spot, so the printer jam (at 40 seconds) was a break in the ad. A way to be evocative using the sound of opening and closing a printer.
Any challenges along the way?
Bertie Scrase: It was eight months and a lot of VFX.
Christen Brestrup: There was a lot of of sound, a lot of debating. Heavily relying on CGI. Will it look good? Does the noise of the printer or the CGI come first? We used everything that was shot. We had to be precise on the project. Megaforce are directors who like a challenge. They want to feel like they are breaking new ground.