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Target: CTOs, corporate purchasing directors
This series of new spots from starts with a shot of a Dell Server and continues to describe how Dell can enable businesses. One spot morphs from the Dell Server to a robotic assembly line (in a motorcycle factory), as the voiceover says, “Pure Dell – It’s an uncomplicated approach to increased productivity. With scalable Linux and data management solutions, you can get more real-time information to streamline your supply chain. And it all runs on Dell PowerEdge Servers, featuring the reliability of Intel Xeon dual-core processors. So growth isn’t just a goal – it’s a given. That’s the direct path to success. That’s pure Dell.” The spot ends with a Pure Dell logo and the Intel logo and trademark sound.
This spot has some impressive graphic effects as the camera moves seamlessly through the factory walls of the motorcyle plant. All of the spots in this campaign feature similar effects.
With this campaign, Dell seems to be learning the wrong lessons from Microsoft and IBM, who have both launched major campaigns that do little for their respective brands.Â In many ways, though, this campaign is worse as it is neither as coherent as the Microsoft ‘People-Ready’ ads nor as engrossing as the IBM ‘Not like anybody else’ effort.Â Instead, Dell gives us a product shot of a server followed by a mind-numbing jumble of corporate computer-speak – all set in someone else’s workplace.Â The voiceover for these spots make it sound as if Dell has randomly cut and pasted phrases from corporate IT magazines together onto the ad copy board.Â Using ‘scaleable, streamline and supply-chain’ in the same sentence just about guarantees that your message will go unheard, even by those who might understand it.
This is a shame because Dell was for some time an oasis of real consumer brand-building in the desert that is the high-tech industry.Â “Dude, You’re Getting a Dell,” was not an inane slacker manifesto – it was a statement of a brand’s commitment to quality that was simple and profound.Â Unfortunately, the brand appears to have stepped away from both the commitment and the reality in recent times.Â This new campaign does not overpromise – in fact it does not promise at all.Â It attempts to link Dell to business success in various ways without being at all specific about why Dell is uniquely positioned to help.Â The only brand that is helped by these Dell spots is Intel which at least benefits from the endorsement.
These spots may be a mess simply because they are using the wrong medium to reach their target audience of IT managers and chief technology officers.Â Television is a bad way to engage this target not only because it is expensive and vastly overreaches, but because it is one-way and that is not how these high-status individuals prefer to be approached.Â Talking to a CTO at home about work is an intrusion – even if you find the right person, you have done it at the wrong moment.Â From this perspective even print advertising would be preferable to television, although we think the real solution is online.
Branding Bottom Line:
Dude, what happened to my Dell?