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Ad of the Day: Dell


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

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