I like silly
I love films. I’m quite happy to suspend disbelief for a couple of hours and watch something silly. That’s how I found myself sat in the cinema with my kids last week waiting to watch the remake of Ghostbusters.
I was in a good mood until this advert for Hewlett Packard Enterprise appeared on the screen…
Here’s the dialog, for those who can’t watch the video. I suggest you do watch it to soak up the appalling smugness of the whole affair…
Businessman 1: “98352”
Businessman 2: “What’s that?”
Businessman 1: “The number of units we will make next month to maximise earnings.”
Businessman 2:”That’s a projection?”
Businessman 1: “No, it’s a fact. Based on hundreds of proprietary and open data sets folded into a real-time actionable analytics model.”
9 – 8 – 3 – 5 – 2″
Businessman 2:”You’re not going to round that up?”
Businessman 1: “You don’t round up facts.”
Slick voiceover: “Powerful analytics. Driving decisions for the worlds most valuable brands”
I’m less keen on ludicrous
I must be turning into a grumpy old man. I had to stop and think why this irritated me SO intensely. Here are my reasons…
- The complete lack of honesty about data accuracy. Just because you use “hundreds of proprietary and open data sets folded into a real-time actionable analytics model” does not make something a “fact.” Most organisations don’t even know precisely how many people they pay to work there on a daily basis or even precisely how many widgets they made yesterday, let alone those they need to make next week.
- “You don’t round up facts”. Clearly the author of this particular commercial has never heard of “pi”. As an irrational number, is always rounded to some extent.
- Just because you use lots of data to come up with an answer does not make it right. Read this brilliant article on Cold War modelling for a great example of just how wrong gigantic data models can be.
I like fantasy, which is why I was waiting to watch Ghostbusters, but this commercial seemed to have as much to do with real-world KPIs as Jason Bourne has to community policing.
What should a real-world HP advert look like? Should they be brutally honest or is it OK to suggest that their tools really will deliver a ‘Star Trek’ future to those who buy them?
As for Ghostbusters, it was MUCH better than the HP advert. It was my favorite kind of silly.