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Selling Via Content: What’s Your Opinion of Dell Lounge?

Dell’s direct marketing has always been impressive, but this recent full page branding ad in the New Yorker left me befuddled.

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In the ad, Dell promotes a new band, but somewhat tongue-in-cheek. No mention of anything like laptops, desktops, servers — you know, the stuff Dell sells. The only call-to-action is “Hear The Boxmasters At The Dell Lounge”. So, over to delllounge.com to check it out. The closest thing to a “what is this site?” explanation is the email signup blurb:

Live the life. Sign up. From the coolest shows to creative contests to sweet prizes — there’s so much going on at the Dell Lounge. Be the first to hear about it. Sign up and we’ll send you updates on what’s happening. Are you in?

(As an aside, the home page is hard to use. Items which are typically hyperlinked aren’t. Artist images and article headlines aren’t clickable. The only way to go deeper into the site are tiny “GO” links.)

Unlike the New Yorker ad, the delllounge.com home page does advertise Dell product. A single 350×125 tile promotes the XPS 420. But that tile is below the fold.

Dell grew through direct-to-consumer manufacturing and marketing. I’d wager a substantial chunk of Dell revenues still come from the direct-to-consumer channel.

What do you think?

Comments
3 Responses to “Selling Via Content: What’s Your Opinion of Dell Lounge?”
  1. John H. Ramsey says:

    “befuddled” is right.

    Whenever I see ad programs like this I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I say, “They’re targeting a different market so of course it doesn’t work for me” or sometimes I see it as the “noblesse oblige” of big brands to have large ad programs that entertain without pushing the product.

    Sometimes I think these kinds of programs happen because a company is letting people who love advertising make decisions about advertising. If the top decision-maker is a person who loves marketing for the sake of marketing, they may pay less attention to the real impact of an ad program on sales.

    In this case, I suspect that the goal is to collect contact information from a group from which they might not otherwise be able to collect e-mail addresses. The real marketing will come later…

  2. “Befuddled” is too kind.

    This is rubbish, and coming from a very skilled DR-focused company, it’s incredibly disappointing and a waste of shareholder money.

    What are they offering me? Where’s the benefits to me? I still don’t know. I couldn’t even figure it out when I got to the website, because it’s all sans-serif KO text on black–which is always the guaranteed tell that this was created by somebody who sees advertising as “art”.

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