News

Babies, dads, granddads: HP delivers all the feels with heartfelt Father’s Day campaign

A look behind the scenes of a new video that aims to “Reinvent Connections” with the parents, grandparents and parent-figures in our lives.

By Sarah Murry — June 8, 2018

Father’s Day is nearly upon us, and with it, a barrage of campaigns encouraging us to celebrate, pamper and dote on our dads, uncles, grandpas and the other important father-figures in our lives. HP’s evocative new films take a different approach.

Part of the new “Reinventing Connections” campaign, it delivers an emotional story about the simple power of a printed photo.

“Meet your grandfather”

In the video, we meet a young dad introducing his infant son to his own father. As they interact, there’s a striking contrast between the lined, deeply weathered face of the older gentleman and the fresh newness of the baby’s round cheeks and chubby hands. Sadly, the two won’t ever meet, but the young father brings him to life for the next generation with the help of a printed portrait. 

Courtesy of HP

Dad | Reinvent Connections | HP

 McDonald as a newborn meeting her grandfather for the first time:  “This photo has traveled all over the world with me—from Mississippi to Egypt to Los Angeles. And it lives in a frame, not in my phone.”

Courtesy of Rachel MacDonald

McDonald as a newborn meeting her grandfather for the first time: “This photo has traveled all over the world with me—from Mississippi to Egypt to Los Angeles. And it lives in a frame, not in my phone.”

Rachel McDonald, who directed the short film for Fred & Farid, helped the actors forge a believable connection by spending time with them together and shooting family-style photos with them before the video was filmed.

“Where we really succeeded was in building a backstory with the actors,” she says. “When they came onto the set they already had a natural connection. Those tears from the dad were real.”

McDonald’s use of “intimate” camera angles and a big reveal — when the viewer learns the grandfather has died — evokes goosebumps.

That pivotal moment wasn’t originally in the script, she explains, but she decided to let the photo do the talking. “I think there is something so powerful about printed images, how a tangible photo can bring a memory to life in a way that’s so different than when you are just looking at something on a screen,” McDonald says. 

There’s something about prints

Printed photos, perhaps because you can hold them in your hand, can foster deeper, more meaningful connections to the past in a way that scrolling through an Instagram feed or “liking” a picture on Facebook can’t.

McDonald, in her pitch to make the “Dad” film, included a personal photograph that has special meaning to her. It’s a yellowed snapshot of McDonald’s grandfather meeting her for the first time. Though the print is yellowed with age, the sentiment is unmistakable. In it, her grandfather smiles down at her lovingly and with pride. 

“This photo has traveled all over the world with me—from Mississippi to Egypt to Los Angeles,” she says. And it lives in a frame, not in my phone.”

The Father’s Day video follows a poignant video HP released for Mother’s Day, where HP looks recognized non-traditional mother figures. The viewer follows as two sisters — one a teen — adjust to their new, blended family.

The teenage daughter observes the kind, helpful ways that the mom figure becomes part of their daily lives and uses the HP Sprocket to alter an existing family photo to include its newest member.

The photo in this case is “a token of acceptance,” says Cole Webley, director of the “Mom” film. “We wanted to show how a simple, small gesture with a printed picture could have a big impact.” 

 

Courtesy of HP

Mom | Reinvent Connections | HP