My head is a box filled with nothing

Friday, September 01, 2006 | 01:15 PM

To make up for my NFP rant, I am going to radically switch gears and pay a compliment:

I give Dell a lot of crap for all the things they do wrong: Customer service, crapware, default installs. My Dell 3100-cn printer has been nagging me to replace the toner for 6 months now -- and it prints just fine.

Dell_adFor a change, let me give them credit for something they are doing right.

The new commercial (Dell for You) is a smart pitch to consumers. Given that the majority of their sales are to corporate customers, we can certainly argue whether Dell even wants to appeal to individuals, and small/home offices. I assume that given their corporate penetration, they have more room for growth in the individual market. They simply don't want to let HP get a toehold in any market that might lead to the corporate side.

Anyway, this is a pretty decent appeal to the average PC buyer. Not as clever or amusing as Apple's ads, but certainly one of the better outings by Dell.

Incidentally, the song in the commercial is Catch My Disease by Ben Lee. You can see the full commercials here. It is an ear worm -- a musical virus -- and it definitely gets in your head. As much as I like Jazz, Funk, Blues and Rock, I have to admit I'm a sucker for hook-laden melodic pop (how can you not love the toy piano riff?).

Its worth comparing Dell's musical approach with that of Apple. The latter has broken acts -- certainly introduced them to a much wider audience -- with their iPod commercials. Dell's approach instead was to use music that fit into the theme of the commercial. They went back to the early 2005 release Awake is the New Sleep. The song's first line -- "my head is a box filled with nothing" -- plays right into the "Built for only one -- Purely you" theme.

I have no position in Dell, but since I bust on them so much, I thought it was only fair to praise a nicely done advert.

Incidentally, the video for the song on You Tube below.

If they spent more than $100 on that they got ripped off . .  .

Friday, September 01, 2006 | 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)
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Now wasn't that easy? Do you still feel ok after saying something decent about Dell?

They are addressing much of their issues. Bolder on design. Going after the "cool" with Alienware acquisition. Scaling back the debacle of offshore call centers with native tongued support. Addressing customer service in general. Addressing their shortcomings with admissions in their messages. Touting their support including the ability to log onto your PC to help you fix problems remotely. Nothing new in any of these but a refocusing seems to be taking place.

They still have a long way to go but they've got $10 billion in cash, no debt and the status of the second largest hardware manufacturer on the globe to get there.

The stock on was a buy on the reactonary low of $18sih IMO. I wouldn't buy it here. A retest or failure at $18 is likely IMO.

Time to hit the links and enjoy a long weekend. Don't work too much.

Posted by: B (The original) | Sep 1, 2006 1:28:06 PM

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