Dude, You Can Stash The Dell Now

Lewis Lazare: With loud praise for the success of its Super Bowl commercials for Anheuser-Busch still ringing, DDB/Chicago took a huge hit Wednesday: Computer behemoth Dell is moving its domestic consumer advertising account to BBDO/Atlanta. The lost business is believed to be worth a whopping $250 million.
The Dell move also is an ugly mark on the report card of DDB/Chicago President and CEO Dana Anderson, who jumped from Foote Cone & Belding/Chicago nearly two years ago to take the helm at the city’s second-largest shop. Lauded at the time for her management and pitch skills, Anderson, who has been largely out of sight since then, seems to have failed in large measure to significantly boost DDB’s fortunes after assuming the top job there.
By all accounts, Dell can be a difficult client. And it didn’t help that the computer company has had some earnings issues of late. But DDB’s relationship with the client certainly wasn’t helped either by the fact the agency’s consumer-focused creative has been mostly a big bust since the popular Dell Dude was retired several years ago.
But even the Dell Dude wasn’t DDB’s invention. He was inherited from Dell’s previous agency, Lowe/New York. Last year there were rumors the Dude might return to give Dell’s ad profile a lift, but it didn’t happen.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.