How much influence does a brand spokesman really have? For example, would we still hate GEICO with a violent passion even if we’d never seen that stupid lizard? Maybe.
But sometimes struggling brands need to play up the nostalgia. We can all agree that Dell, famous maker of crappy computers, is on a bit of a downslide, but actor Ben Curtis–who made a name for himself as the brand’s slacker spokesman during the early 00’s before confirming all sorts of negative stereotypes by getting himself arrested for trying to buy marijuana while wearing a kilt–thinks he knows what the company needs to do: rehire the “Dell dude!”
In his own words, “American loves a comeback, and nothing would be better for Dell than to bring back the face of their company.”
His proposal: reposition Dell, long seen as the go-to option for kids entering college or companies that don’t want to spend too much on in-house tech, as a mature company making products for mature people. Create a series of ads that highlight the perpetual college student’s move into the corporate world, casting him as an outsider in a business suit and showing how he manages to succeed thanks to all his great Dell products.
Would this plan work? We can all joke about an actor reaching for 15 more minutes of fame, but seriously: How would you remake Dell?
One final, fitting note: Despite Curtis’s love for the brand that gave him a career, he identifies as a proud Mac user.