Why the Staples Commercial Works

Have you seen the Staples commercial where the wimpy little office nerd is panicking because the printer is out of ink? He’s have a tizzy-fit because it’s a Dell printer and you can only buy ink from Dell. His co-worker hits the Staples easy button to solve the problem.

You may think this commercial is over the top, but let me tell you — it’s not. It’s very much  reality-based.

I  worked in an office that had a Dell printer and I was in charge of keeping it in ink. Until recently, you could only buy Dell ink cartridges from Dell….from their warehouse “somewhere” by ordering online or on the phone. You could not pick one up. You would have to wait at least overnight.

Even though my co-workers were college educated, they couldn’t/ wouldn’t cope with the printer when it had trouble. For example, they’d just walk away if there was a miss-feed…wouldn’t even bring it someone’s attention. So much for teamwork.

One day I had a temporary IT worker screaming at me we needed to buy a new printer immediately as it wasn’t printing. He wouldn’t listen to anything I said about my past experience with the toners, etc. This guy is at Sam’s Club on his cell phone, he’s yelling at me that he needs to buy a new printer. He’s got one of the partner’s credit cards, and he’s telling me I need to “approve” the purchase…when I had no authority to do so. Bottom line…on that occasion, and one other….. even though the printer was indicating there was a problem with the toner….the paper drawer was empty and that is why nothing was printing. The “low toner” message apparently outweighs the “out of paper” message…which promptly appeared when I switched to a new toner. After shaking the old toner and putting it back in the machine (these toners are about 90 bucks each)….and adding paper…out popped perfectly fine copies.Even Dell will tell you the toner warning is only a guideline…the machine counts copies, it doesn’t know how much actually ink you used. (You may have printed pages with only a few lines, which use very little ink.)

If you hear someone laughing at this Staples commercial — they have probably had contact with a Dell printer.

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8 Responses to “Why the Staples Commercial Works”

  1. demopublican

    This commercial is just another in a long list of anti-white male ads. The stupid skinny white guy panics and is rescued by the pretty white woman and the muscular black male. White males should not shop at STaples if they think we are that dumb and helpless.

  2. Lari

    I laugh at this every single time I see it…it reminds me of my boss’ son who has freak outs just like this over the smallest things…like not being able to find a pen…when one is looking right at him!

  3. GibGrl

    OMG! ***ing Dell. Dell Hell, blog about that. May I add stupid computer/printer maintenance issues in general. I work in a place where there are a few ‘unassigned’ or dedicated computers. I was the first person in three years to install updates, run a disk clean up and check for defrag. I also cleared the history and forms etc. you’d think I was a cpu goddess. AND FREAKIN PAPER, after I’d been in my position for about a month we were out of paper- my boss had NO IDEA WHERE TO GET IT. I gave her the snotty “there is no paper fairy” line and stormed off to get it from the office. OMG, such head in the sand. Where do you guys crap when the toilet breaks?? Wake up people learn your file extensions, your email system and how do deal with the forsaken printer. [tirade over] Point number 2: I love the easy button commercials though and have to agree with response #1, white guys are pretty hapless on sitcoms etc. but well in this case maybe we can look past that because *every* office has one of these characters.

  4. some1else

    GibGrl… Don’t get your panties in a bunch. If the regular office folks knew what you’re asking them to know, then good folks like me would be out of a job. 😉

    I like looking like a goddess every time I fix something easy for my end users.

  5. intuitivelyobvious

    In case GibGrl doesn’t see the last comment….she’s a good friend of mine who holds a professional position at at a world-class medical institution.

    Fixing the computer equipment really isn’t in her job description.
    It’s just one of those things you end up doing after hours, on the weekend, or when the admin assistants are taking their kids to the doctor, at home on a snow day, or talking on the phone.

    Don’t think I’m picking on admin assistants…I’ve held jobs that strattle both sides of the fence.

  6. GibGrl

    Too funny thanks InOb for the back up. Funny that some1else took the angle that I was an IT type professional. No I’m just the chick at the next computer but doing routine maintenance on my machine and everyone elses. I *love* our IT people(and all the other people that come running when we have a problem) and would never abuse them over printer ink and Windows updates. But dontcha just wonder how some people find their office in the morning, I mean just clueless on so many levels. ok a different blog topic..

  7. intuitivelyobvious

    Some people are just conveniently clueless…less work for them

  8. oinkinkstore

    While I am new to wordpress, I am not new to printer cartridges. Let me poke some holes in Staples and Dell

    1. If you watch the commercial, they have a Dell Color laser printer, and they are out of “ink”. And the Staples guy sells them Ink. Why put ink in a laser printer, talk about trouble.
    2. While I have not checked on the laser cartridges yet, the inkjets that they carry are the small capacity ink cartridges, not the large ones that do about 2 times the pages. You save money by ordering from Dell. If you look at prices and part numbers in the store, you will find them exactly the same as the small capacities from Dell’s website.

    I feel sorry everytime I hear a person who has a Dell printer. Especially businesses, cause this limits you if you do run out of ink or toner. Plus underneath the Dell logo is a Samsung and Lexmark printer, which Lexmark is not known in the industry for making decent printers.

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