Dell’s new marketing video — WTF?

Just for the record, I think it’s great when a company has some fun with things, shakes things up a bit, lets its hair down (fill in your favourite metaphor here). But at the same time, I think a company with some image problems — like say… oh, I don’t know, like Dell, for example — might want to make sure that if it spends a bunch of dough on an attempt to be funny, that it is a) actually funny and b) funny. The video clip that Michael Dell introduced at OracleWorld doesn’t qualify.

dell -- jibjab

In fact, as almost everyone who has seen it seems to agree, it is mind-numbingly bad. Not just un-funny, but cringe-inducingly un-funny — like say, your grandmother dressing like 50 Cent and trying to do a rap about adult diapers. What was Dell trying to do with this video? It isn’t aimed at consumers, because it’s all about proprietary standards. It’s clearly aimed at suppliers — specifically, aging suppliers with no sense of humour, or taste for that matter.

Not only is it un-funny in the worst way, it’s also about five times too long for a self-deprecating joke video (Nick Douglas will pay you if you sit through the whole thing). If the guys behind JibJab.com — whose style this imitates — were involved in this clip in any way, they should do themselves and everyone else a favour and go directly to Hell (Note: one of the founders responded in my comments to say they weren’t involved). And Larry Ellison should sue.

Update:

My friend Stuart said that howlingly lame videos like this are made all the time for supplier-type conferences, and that it wasn’t really designed for regular people to see — to which I replied that the lesson here is, in the age of YouTube, everything will eventually be seen, whether you want it to or not.