Oct 10

“You can tell it’s Dell”

Prepare to be dazzled. Dell is about to unveil a new ad campaign.

No samples provided yet — but even with the scant clues offered, you can definitely tell it’s Dell. Because it’s taken an eon to produce and doesn’t sound very distinctive.

According to a story in Adweek, Dell intends to move the focus from price ads to brand image ads.

Can Dell undo its addiction to "creative" like this?

This, of course, would be a major miracle. (A) Dell has lived and breathed transactional ads for years, and (B) they need to stand for something before they can run a brand campaign.

This campaign will be Dell’s first major effort from Y&R, which took over the account from Enfatico. Interestingly, after Enfatico got slammed for taking 8 months to produce its first campaign, it’s taken Y&R 18 months to produce this one. That’s progress.

A new computer can be conceived, engineered and manufactured in less time than it takes Dell to produce an ad campaign.

One might also quibble with the fact that this brand campaign isn’t really a brand campaign. From the nuggets provided by Adweek, it seems that each ad simply highlights one feature of a particular computer. In most circles, this is considered a product campaign.

Apple can get away with ads like this, because they’ve created a brand that stands for innovation. When they run a product ad, it enhances the brand.

Not so much for Dell. When they run a product ad, it’s just a product ad. If they wish to imbue the word Dell with distinctive and positive meaning, they’ll need to do a major companywide rethink — from product lineup to communications.

It will take more than a product ad with a rhyming theme line.

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  • bryan Birch

    I wish I had a dollar for every time…clients asking for a product as hero campaign, “like Apple’s.”

    Produce products that are heroes—and then let’s talk again.

  • Daniel Patry

    I like your observation of the Enfatico/Y&R timelines.. I chuckled a bit. Where is George Parker now?