Dell Computer Strikes Back At Compaq via Goldberg Moser



SAN FRANCISCO – Goldberg Moser O’Neill here had its agility tested last week when the personal computer price wars forced it to revamp a slew of ads for Dell Computer Corp. of Austin, Texas.
Having learned that arch-rival Compaq Computer Corp. was about to announce a 15% price cut, GMO called in a team of about 25 people to overhaul 10 previously scheduled ads and create new ones pointedly aimed at Compaq. The team worked over the weekend to deliver a counterpunch timed to follow Compaq’s March 8 announcement.
That day GMO responded with a direct attack on Compaq in the computer magazine INFOWORLD. The three-page ad begins with a single page that reads, ‘If we can offer more features and better customer satisfaction for less money, it’s not surprising how we sell so many PCs.’ The reader turns the page to find a two-page headline that says, ‘What’s surprising is how Compaq does.’
The ad offers a list of 14 reasons to buy a Dell system, including its upgradability, the company’s high level of service and its reputation for customer satisfaction. Opposite that is a one item list of reasons to buy a Compaq system, which simply reads, ‘They have a pretty nice logo.’
Last Thursday GMO took another stab at Compaq with a half-page ad in the Wall Street Journal offering Dell’s fastest 386SX machine for $999, a $150 reduction. In large, bold letters the ad reads ‘No, it’s not a typo. (Sorry Compaq)’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)