Ad of the Day: Dell

Y&R dreams up an alternate universe in its latest spot for the computer maker

This Dell spot from Young & Rubicam in New York is barely a Dell spot, but that's sort of what makes it work as entertainment, if not particularly as advertisement.

It's the latest in the "Power to Do More" series, which previously brought us Annie, the girl who could fly. In the new spot, we meet Thomas, "creator of an alternate universe." Directed by Bjoern Ruehmann, it's a lot of fun to look at (there are behind-the-scenes shorts for those suitably enchanted by the CGI characters)—especially the nervous rabbit, whose only pleasure in life seems to be the acquisition of a second ear, courtesy of Thomas Wilks, our budding-graphic-novelist protagonist.

Ruehmann's spot does pack a lot into a few seconds: There's the humdrum eye-flirting between Thomas and the beautiful woman down the row, whom he's clearly using as fodder for the fowl fatale character in his noirish story. The frog is a lot of fun, too. But the cricket-jockey mice are definitely the highlight, as far as I'm concerned. (By the way, people enchanted by Wilks's premise should know that the hardboiled-Wind-in-the-Willows thing has already been done quite well by graphic novelist Bryan Talbot in his series Grandville.)

The special effects here are a very convincing blend of practical and CG. The bird's feathered hand is a really beautiful piece of costuming, and the rabbit's whole getup is pretty seamless.

But ultimately, the ad doesn't really convince me that the Dell in question can do anything really notable or different. The spot is meant to celebrate the way Dell technology helps enable interests that people pursue outside of their work life. But with all story and not much product, it has trouble making its own case.

Maybe that's a sign of the times—computers now being no more or less preferable among brands than diet sodas—even if the tech industry is so invested in telling us otherwise.


Client: Dell

Agency: Young & Rubicam, New York

Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott

Executive Vice President, Global Creative Director: Jim Radosevic

Creative Director, Art Director: Fern Cohen

Creative Director, Copywriter: Margot Owett

Coywriter: Bruce Jacobsen

Executive Producer: Craig Jelniker

Assistant Producer: Abby Bralove

Executive Producer, Music and Creative Content: Jessica Dierauer

Assistant Music Producer: Rachel Rauch

Director of Business Affairs: Debra Horvath

Senior Vice President, Account Managing Director: Lara Griggs

Account Supervisor: Linden White

Production Company: Furlined

Director: Bjoern Ruehmann

Producer: Leah Fleischmann

Director of Photgraphy: Roman Vasyanov

Senior Executive Producer: David Thorne

President: Diane McArter

Editing: Work Post

Editor: Rich Orrick

Assistant Editor: Healy Snow

Executive Producer: Erica Thompson

CG, Online: MPC (Moving Picture Company)

Head of Production: Derek Macleod-Veilleux

Production Assistant: Lindsay Myers

Visual Effects Supervisor, 2-D Lead: Gigi Ng

Visual Effects Supervisor, CG Lead, Bill Dorais

Nuke: Alex Harding (lead), John Laughlin, Craig Sylvester, Sang Lee, Carl Fong, Mikael Petterson, Kelly Bruce

Animators: Grae Ravell, Anderson Ko, Ross Scroble, Jacob Fradkin

Lighters: Susie Hong, Corey Langelotti, Jimmy San, Ross Denner, Grahame Curtis

Modeller, Rigger: Andres Weber

Concept Artist: Andrew Brooks

Designers: Rob Modini, Colin Hess

Telecine: Adrian Seery

Telecine Assistant: Dan Silverman

Music: Tonic

Composer: Benjamin Price

Music Producer: Susan Stone

Sound Design: Wave Studios

Sound Designer: Alex Nicholls-Lee

Mix: Heard City

Engineer: Eric Warzecha

Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky