This Sprawling International Thriller for HP Business Printers Is an Epic, Cautionary Tale

Christian Slater leads the first-class cast

Christian Slater shines in the new HP series. - Credit by HP
Headshot of Shannon Miller

When shopping for a printer, how highly does online safety and protection rank? For the average consumer, it’s likely not very high on the list of must-have components, even for businesses. HP and agency Giant Spoon x Zac&Adam are determined to change that with a star-studded campaign so elaborate, it deserves its own cinematic release.

Launching its third film in “The Wolf” series, Christian Slater reprises his role as a breezy, charmingly confident hacker determined to illustrate just how crucial printer security is.

In this cinematic brand masterstroke, Slater goes up against Breaking Bad star Jonathan Banks and the thoroughly stellar Betty Adewole in a 20-minute action short entitled “The Wolf: True Alpha” which was directed by Lance Acord and filmed on location in Europe.


To better understand the evolution and ambition of the series, one can go back to February 2017, when HP released the first, comparatively short, 6-minute 22-second film called “The Wolf,” which sets the tone by revealing that less than 2 percent of the hundreds of thousands of business printers are secure.

Knowing this, the Wolf begins to prey on a poor, unsuspecting company by hacking the unprotected printers with his phone. With minimal diversion he’s able to intercept the entire building’s print jobs and access mounds of sensitive information, making him the only one with the power to bring the firm to its knees.


Even as he commits deeds so treacherous, the Wolf is not particularly vengeful. He’s just very intent on showing the security holes in a business’s most unassuming equipment. His capabilities, however, make him dangerous beyond measure. Even scarier, his path to chaos is entirely plausible and should be considered a significant concern for any business.

As if that wasn’t scary enough, HP released a sequel three months later titled “The Wolf: The Hunt Continues,” where Slater hatches a chilling plan that requires him to hack a hospital. This time the stakes are even higher, as his dirty work involves adjusting someone’s medication dosage. Again, the tech-proficient mastermind is both evil and plausible.


But it’s the third, most recent episode of the series that really takes the cake. The film elevates the series beyond a collection of cautionary tales and turns it into a fully fleshed-out tech thriller with in-depth characters. It’s well worth 20 minutes of your time.

While watching this heart-racing game of cat and mouse not only do you question which side you’re rooting for, you nearly forget that this is an ad for business printers.

CREDITS:

Client – HP
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer: Antonio Lucio
Global Head of Marketing HP Imaging and Printing: Vikrant Batra
Director, Office Printing Solutions Worldwide Marketing: Darren Needham-Walker
Campaign Manager, Office Printing Solutions Worldwide Marketing: Cindy Ibabarriaga
Manager, Office Printing Solutions Worldwide Marketing: David Hackney

Agency: Giant Spoon x Zac&Adam
Giant Spoon co-founder: Jon Haber
Creative director (CW): Zac Ryder
Creative director (AD): Adam Groves
Producer: Esther Perls
Producer: Eric Voegele
Digital Producer: Andy Caramanzana
Account Director: Nikki Peddie
Strategy Director: Adam Wiese / Dania Aguayo
Strategists: Mariel Strauch & Madeline Reeves
Business Affairs: Catherine Huang

Production: Park Pictures
Director/DP: Lance Acord
EP/Producer: Caroline Kousidonis
EP: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Head of Production: Anne Bobroff

Editorial: Exile
Editor: Conor O’Neill
Assistant Editor: Rex Lowry
Executive Producer: CL Weaver
Producer: Michael Miller

Finishing: A52
Lead Flame: Patrick Murphy
Producer: Michael Steinmann
Executive Producer: Pat Nugent

Color: MPC
Colorist: Mark Geithen
Producer: Rebecca Boorsma
EP: Meghan Lang

Music: We Are Walker
Executive Producer: Stephanie Pigott

Audio: Barking Owl
Mix: Mike Franklin
EP: Kelly Bayett
Producer: Ashley Benton

Sound Design: Morgan Johnson


Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.