HP's TV ad campaign claims its printers are "made to be less hated"


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Facepalm: In an advertising campaign that could be described as either bold or a bit like when Kevin Spacey released his Let Me Be Frank YouTube video, ads for the much-loathed HP are running in Europe that essentially admit printers are hated by most people – but its products are "Made to be less hated."

Running in the Nordics, Benelux, Ireland, and the UK, the ads cover several well-known printer issues most of us have faced. The first of these shows a worker struggling to operate her printer, noting that "I did everything you asked for – and now this. No." She then throws the printer out of the window as the ad boasts of "No more installation fails with the HP Smart app."

It's certainly a brave move from HP to sing the praises of the HP Smart app just days after it started appearing for no reason in Windows 10 and 11. People with no HP products or printers were seeing it, too. For those with printers, many found the app was renaming their devices to "HP LaserJet M101-M106," even the non-HP ones.

While that might be mostly Microsoft's fault, the anger towards HP is there by association. What is 100% on HP, though, is the firmware update it pushed out earlier this year that bricked its printers to the extent that they couldn't even be factory reset.

The next ad is probably the most audacious of the three. In it we see a man internalizing his hatred while a Low Ink warning light blinks on his printer. He then kicks it off his desk as a message about "No more low ink with HP ink solutions" flashes up.

The man's frustration in the ad might have been greater had it been an HP printer, given that the company has faced a class-action lawsuit over claims it was shutting down multifunction printers when the ink was low, even if users weren't trying to print anything.

Then there's the mention of ink solutions. HP blocks customers from using third-party ink cartridges with its printers as part of the company's dynamic security policy, which obviously generates a lot of love. It also has several ink subscriptions that an HP exec recently said were "locking" customers into its services.

The final ad sees a man struggling to connect his printer to the Wi-Fi. It's a promotion for HP's self-healing Wi-Fi that promises no reconnection hassles, something many users would disagree with.

Is this a case of HP owning the hate against it? Many people say they would never buy one of its printers again, so what better way to get ahead of the problem than shrugging one's shoulders and saying, "hey, we're trying here." It might even be working: the company told More About Advertising that this is its most successful campaign ever.

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You know they can advertise whatever they want, but user experience matters the most. I’ve used a HP printer of late and not going to buy another from them. There teething issues that persist even after using it for close to 2 years. Now when I try to print, it will throw out an error and fail to print 95% of the time…
As I've said before, I used to buy exclusively HP plotters for my corporation until they started playing games with their inks then we dropped HP and went a different route. That was 2,000 plotters & supplies gone over night and we never peard a peep out of HP. HP lost it's mojo decades ago and nobody in management can figure it out, or as I suspect, they just don't care.
In my experience, HP printers are about as awesome as their laptops with the lid hinge screws that routinely strip out, making the laptop useless after only a few months. I'll pass.
HP? Last purchased in mid-1990s. Good printer, expensive parts and carts. Moved on. Unlikely to move back.
It's not just HP...I've been in the copier service side since 81. Now, a LOT of the multifunction copiers, printers etc have "locks" that once you put the toner cartridge in the machine, it can't be removed until the screen says it is out of toner. It's done that way because a lot of machines are sold in a "managed" system. The dealer is notified when the machine is at 10-15% toner level and will automatically send them a new replacement cartridge. On the machines I have, I have the "lock" disabled because I've always instructed my end users that when the empty toner light comes on, remove the cartridge, shake it, and tilt it down, and put it back in the machine, to use ALL of the toner in the cartridge. Some customer are replacing the cartridge when the low, not empty light comes on, which ends up costing the dealers money, not to mention the waste of the toner ending up in a landfill. Even if the low light comes on and we ship them toner, by removing, shaking and putting it back in, they are using up all of the toner.
If you're not in school, what do you need a printer for anyway? I need to print something out maybe once every few years and I can just go to Staples to do that.
All printers make me mad. I am the IT of a small business and printers is the worst nightmare I have: not printing, insisting they are out of paper or offline... Most issue could be Windows and the drivers, but I just can't stand printers
I still use an HP LaserJet 1320. I must have had it 15 years now. It was given to me when my company was clearing an office. It's indestructible, the toner carts are really cheap and last for about 10,000 pages. It's fast and it's quiet.
Comes from the old days when HP made their money from the printer itself, rather than selling a nasty cheap printer as a loss-leader and fleecing you for ink.
It is black and white though....
I quit HP printers years ago because of their greedy tactics regarding inkjet cartridges. I now have a Canon laser printer. A toner cartridge lasts for years, and it never gets clogged or dries up.
Hp is a scam.. our it always order HP Printer because it's cheap.. but It always broke down.. and our It never learns still buys the same brand..