Dell Undergoes Brand Adolescence, and it Ain't Pretty


We can't help but notice Dell is using its XPS model to (ever so innocuously) try repositioning its brand as a whole.

For this decidedly complicated gig, it enlisted Mother, NY, which in August demanded that we reconcile a passel of mod devotchkas to our mental image of Dell. It was a brave and interesting effort, but an ultimately unconvincing one.

For the XPS One, Dell and Mother are pushing harder still.

Check out this new spot, aptly titled Out with the Old.

The product of Smuggler and rhinofx for Mother, NY, it showcases the cathartic destruction of -- what, Dell's economic girl-next-door feel? -- to Jennifer Terran's wispy rendition of Que Sera Sera.

We remain lukewarm. Is it that we've already seen that death-to-my-shitty-unshakeable-image! thing before and been disappointed by it? Is it Terran's slightly painful hick twang in the "Sera"?

Generally speaking, you can't exorcise your past by literally destroying it in front of people. That's just too easy. Changing your feel takes time and commitment -- something that shines through a mere ad campaign.

Dell, can you commit to this racy new you? We're still convinced this is a rebellious phase you'll grow out of, along with the red lipstick and the garish black-and-white ensembles.

by Angela Natividad    Dec- 6-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Packaging   

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I found the "mod devotchkas" and the introduction of Dell's colored laptops horrible, but this is even worse. What about the product? What about the brand? What is going on people?

Posted by: rnyc on December 6, 2007 2:33 PM

Just because they aren't showing their logo constantly doesn't mean they aren't showing the brand.

It's an attention grabber, at the least.

Posted by: Mark M on December 6, 2007 3:48 PM

Its attention grabbing and as they almost make fun of the less than B actors that they have on their commercials they have demonstrated the ability to poke fun at themselves. This sort of ad balances out the goofy actions with some sort of sophistocation in a sea of madness. It takes a different approach than HP with their small biz examples by really showing a flagship product.

Posted by: Da Client on December 6, 2007 4:17 PM


A beautiful future. I just didn't know it.

Ispirational? Who knows?

Posted by: nancy on December 6, 2007 6:29 PM

The wife and I saw this last night. I waited for her to watch it all the way through before I told her what the XPS One was... and she didn't get it from the commercial. I said that when I watched it.

They have completely failed in communicating to the general public that they have a one-piece computer now.

Also, since I worked at Dell during the launch of the XPS expanded brand, I believe they have completely failed at selling the XPS label. They could start over and have more success.

Posted by: Lee Coursey on December 7, 2007 7:58 AM

The best thing about the "mod devotchkas" ad was that it featured the best new DEVO tune in ages. That makes it a winner in my book! ;-)

Posted by: Jim C on December 8, 2007 11:49 AM