Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the Navy.

Advertising agencies, like clients, like most businesses, are like the Navy. The guy who is 5'2" is ordered to paint the ceiling. The guy who is 6'7" is ordered to paint the molding around the floor. If you say, "that's dumb. Let's change that," your counter-order has to go up the ladder, where is rejected because "it's not the way we've always done things."

Today there's an ad in the NY Times, I suppose the prodigious output from Synarchy, Dell's new and oddly-badly-named agency. Here is the headline: "Even the prices work harder."

Yippee! There's news. Dell has low prices.

Dell has spent, I'd guess one-billion dollars a year for the last twenty years saying they have low prices. People have turned from the brand because they worry about Dell's quality and their customer service. Over the last couple years, following its "I can get it for you wholesale" "strategy," Dell has lost significant marketshare to HP, who have chosen to "non-commoditize" their PCs via a pretty darn good Goodby campaign.

For Dell though a new agency doesn't mean new thinking. It appears it simply means new people doing scut work.

And now, a musical interlude.

In the navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
In the navy
Yes, you can put your mind at ease
In the navy
Come on now, people, make a stand
In the navy, in the navy
Can't you see we need a hand
In the navy
Come on, protect the motherland
In the navy
Come on and join your fellow man
In the navy
Come on people, and make a stand
In the navy, in the navy, in the navy (in the navy)

They want you, they want you
They want you as a new recruit.

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