Christopher Mills: HP “Crazy Town”


The mixed media style of “Crazy Town” directed by Christopher Mills (Spy Entertainment) is fun and, in terms of HP’s existing campaigns, daringly different. I’m not sure, however, that the piece feels less chaotic (as the voiceover suggests) when the HP tentacle monster appears and starts cleaning house.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs. What do you guys think?

Thanks to Self_90 for the tip.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



I’ve seen this spot on TV a handfull of times and could pick out his style immediately, which I like a lot.

But… until I read your description above, Justin, I couldn’t figure out what was happening in the spot. It made sense after I re-watched it, though. I coudn’t tell if the tentacled monster was good or bad on early viewings.

my verdict +1 for being unique, +1 for HP going with a fresh style, -2 for communication.


“my verdict +1 for being unique, +1 for HP going with a fresh style, -2 for communication.”

That’s a very concise, well-voiced summary of my own feelings. So I guess that means that on the whole, the spot scores a zero? ;-) (At least for you and me, monovich.)


I concur. I didn’t realize until the watering of the plants in the flower sill that the octopus was supposed to be a good thing. There wasn’t quite as strong of contrast of feeling.


I think you hit the nail on the head. I felt more chaos at the end of the spot, not less. The animation is cute, the story doesn’t send the right message.


love it. I think it delivers.


I first caught this on TV too. So my first impression was pretty much an uninformed one, but I think it works. I agree that the octopus tentacles are an odd choice for something symbolizing “good”. But, I did get the impression they were helping rather than adding to the chaos. Maybe a subtle change in music would have better communicated the transition from chaos to order?


I didn’t think they were tentacles at the end, they seemed more like those party whisles you blow on. Like it’s a party with the new hp thingie.

It read well for me but I can’t get very excited about the style. Allthough I’m happy people are at least adventurous enough to try something different.


hmm…guess I’m in the minority, I understood the tentacles were a “good” thing right away (well, early on at least, I mean it clears up the pile of crumpled paper around that one desk-jockey, how could that be conceived as “bad”?).

I agree with Ross, tentacles were an odd choice (i doubt they’re party whistles) but the message was still pretty clear.


K, i just watched it again. I think the more glaring issue is during the initial push-in to the street. They used the lens flare to cover up the change from what is mostly real cutouts to what looks entirely CG (at least I think it was real cutouts up until that point).

The CG looks too polished and far less choppy, and therefore loses alot of the stylistic appeal they had in the first few seconds. Still an impressive spot, just that lens flare sticks out like a sore thumb IMO.


jeez, I wish I could add on to my previous posts instead of being the guy that posted 3 times in a row….anyhoo….

As a follow up to my lens flare comment, I just watched it one more time. The problem with the lens flare transition is that BEFORE the flare, the camera doesn’t actually move, its just in a series of still positions, stop-motion style. AFTER the flare the camera starts swooshing around in one fluid move. Pretty big oversight me thinks.


Just a difference in style, it feels good! doesn’t it




i love biggieboys analysis but im going with the original conclusions on this.


The piece works solely because of the voice over narration, and even still some (including myself) found it confusing. Take the voice over away, and the message is completely unclear. Pretty weak, in my opinion.

Comments are closed.