We routinely abuse our laptops, subjecting them to everything from spills to drops. But the machines are really put through the wringer in a new series of Web videos for Toshiba.
Created by goodness Mfg. and directed by Sean Leman of Republic Content, the videos find two overzealous dudes—Matt and Jamie—conducting field tests designed to take to new extremes the already rigorous testing Toshiba performs on its laptops and other products.
In one video, set in a paint store, Jamie, who appears to be the lead field tester, notes that Toshiba’s product team tests the Satellite Ultrabook to withstand 500 vibrations per second. "That’s all well and good, but can it withstand this?" Jamie asks as Matt attaches the laptop to a paint shaker and forces it to endure vigorous convulsions.
Another video has the guys at a car wash. Jamie points out that Toshiba’s engineers test the Portege Ultrabook spill-resistant keyboard to withstand 50 milliliters of water. "But I want to see how it can handle 150,000 milliliters—give or take," Jamie declares as Matt sprays him and the laptop with a high-powered hose.
The videos were created "to help reinforce the notion that Toshiba is one of the most reliable laptops on the market," says Tom Adams, cofounder and executive creative director of goodness Mfg.
While the laptops still function just fine after some of the field tests, the devices don’t always escape unharmed. In fact, the screen of a Portege Ultrabook resembles a Rorshach test after being run over by a monster truck in one video. "A lot of clients would have said we couldn’t show the ones that failed," Adams says. "But Toshiba knew right away that the story here was about the QC [quality control] testing they do before releasing a product and their high standards—not if the laptop passes or fails these ridiculous tests."
As you might have guessed, the surname-free Matt and Jamie don’t really work for Toshiba. They’re both improv actors cast for their ability to react on the fly. "They are truly funny and awkward individuals. No acting going on there," Adams quips, noting that he particularly enjoyed Matt’s performance during the paint shaker field test, which didn’t go as planned—even though the goal was to give the laptop a serious shaking, it wasn’t actually supposed to come loose and fly off the machine. "I love seeing Matt’s embarrassed reaction when he realizes he screwed up and didn’t secure the laptop properly."
We could be seeing a lot more of Matt and Jamie torturing Toshibas if these Web videos gain traction online. "We’ll for sure make more if these do well," Adams says.