Dell can help kids fly. So says "Meet Annie," a new commercial about a fifth grader who uses her laptop, a handheld camera and a homemade green screen to create a video of herself going airborne over her elementary school playground.
It's the first TV work from the brand's new agency, Y&R, New York, and it's good: fun, relaxed and an engaging credible story about how a creative kid can use the brand's technology to realize—or, at least, simulate the realization of—a timeless childhood dream.
Sure, it doesn’t do much to specifically differentiate Dell’s products from the competition’s wares (it could just as easily be selling HP). But that interchangeability is, to some degree, symptomatic of a category defined by Apple’s longtime marketing dominance. Dell is one of the other guys. And the yarn Dell is spinning about its brand might help it break out, as Apple stumbles: The new work is a lot more compelling and accessible—not to mention a lot less obnoxious—than Apple’s widely panned new advertising, which oddly alludes back to the Mac vs. PC fight that Mac won years ago.
The Dell ad makes its technology feel human, which pretty much every technology company is trying to do now. It’s well casted, beautifully shot and expertly cut. The copy is perfect for the character; even bits like “the no-way-you-can-do-it-ers”—stupid neologisms being a problem for advertising, writ large—and “brilliant ingenuity”—pretentiousness also being pandemic to commercials—actually fit the voice of an imaginative, precocious 11-year-old.
Of course, if she really wanted to stand out, she would have developed a startup and received millions in VC financing. Maybe in the next episode.
Agency: Y&R, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott
Creative Director, Copywriter: Margot Owett
Creative Director, Art Director: Fern Cohen
Executive Director of Content Production: Nathy Aviram
Agency Producer: Tamara Lecker
Executive Producer of Music: Jessica Dierauer
Senior Vice President, Account Managing Director: Lara Griggs
Global Business Leader on Dell: Joe Rivas
Production Company: Gorgeous/Anonymous Content
Director: Peter Thwaites
Executive Producer: Jeff Baron
Line Producer: Anna Hashmi
Producer: Alicia Richards
Director of Photography: Igor Jaude Lillo
Editorial Company: Work Post
Editor: Neil Smith
Executive Producer (Work Post, N.Y.): Erica Thompson
Executive Producer (Work Post, U.K.): Jane Dilworth
Post Producer: Joy Purver
Postproduction: The Mill
Visual Effects Supervisor: Hitesh Patel
Post Producer: Boo Wong
Audio Postproduction: Heard City
Mixer: Philip Loeb