Called “Let’s Make it Real,” the television advertisement starts out with a magic show on stage, with actor Jeffrey Wright explaining that what seems like magic is actually just the transformative power of technology, which is developed by real people at Dell Technologies.
It aired first during Austin's Dell Match Play golf tournament, but the entire campaign has a “huge digital component to it,” according to Liz Matthews, the senior vice president of global brand and creative at Dell Technologies.
Watch it for yourself here:
Part of the ad’s purpose is to unify all the different companies Round Rock-based Dell Technologies purchased as part of the $58 billion EMC deal under one brand.
After buying EMC, the tech company adopted the strategy Google used when it became Alphabet. Dell Technologies is now the parent company over seven distinct business units.
The "Dell" name survived, but now represents the part of the consumer-facing business that makes computers. EMC’s core business and some of Dell’s old enterprise business is now called DellEMC.
And some of the other companies that EMC owns, such as VMware, kept their names and still function independently.
Yes, Dell still makes computers. But its parent company, Dell Technologies, is more of a business-to-business company, focused on selling IT hardware and software to businesses and governments.
"We're trying to reach the business decision-makers, the CIOs, the very senior IT decision-makers," Matthews said. "Many people know Dell, but they don't know Dell Technologies."
The goal isn't to necessarily sell more IT equipment, but to "drive awareness of Dell Technologies as this umbrella brand," Matthews explained.
This isn’t the first time Dell Technologies has launched advertising efforts that emphasize its focus on IT products and services. And the company is still targeting consumers with ads focused on its personal computing products.
A review of Dell’s TV ads over the years is one of the best ways to see how its business has evolved.
One of the most famous ad campaigns Dell ever produced were its "Dell Dude" ads. This popular campaign started in 2000 and ran for three years. The first ad featured a goofy kid named Steve who wanted a Dell computer for Christmas. (Which comes with a DVD upgrade!).
In 2009 Dell released the “Lollipop” ads, which featured factory workers singing the 1958 hit “Lollipop.” The idea here was to showcase the bright colors available from Dell’s Inspiron laptops:
Three years later, Dell came out with its “Power to Do More” campaign, which doesn’t really show any technology but has lots of images of people having some darn good fun:
A year later Dell released a TV spot called “Annie,” about a girl who wants to figure out a way to fly. Spoiler alert: the solution involves a Dell laptop.
More recently, in 2015 Dell released its “Beginnings” campaign, which is my personal favorite. It focuses on Dell’s role in providing technology that helped various startups, like Dropbox and Shutterfly, get off the ground:
And then came its “Future Ready” campaign last year, which told the story of a doctor who uses technology to fix a young girl’s heart.
Do you have a favorite? Let us know by taking this poll:
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.