Dell tries for a rebirth of cool

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Dell has just teamed up with Vice Magazine, they of the Do’s & Don’ts, to create a new news site/blog/coolness injector called Motherboard.tv.

After those strange, heady days of the Dell Dude, the company has fallen off the coolness radar. In an effort to right this wrong, Dell hired Vice to create a website and news source – sort of a pop-up web presence – to talk about tech to a more plugged-in audience.

Dell needs the boost. Their revenue is down by 16% this quarter and their Studio line, while trendy, is facing tough competition by Apple and HP. Their market share is now about 26.3 percent, below HPs. Even their uber-laptop, the Adamo got bad reviews.

So what are those jokesters at Vice offering offing Dell? First, a little street cred. Motherboard will feature a videos of famous geeks – Richard Garriott appears below – along with “tech news” in a blog format. Dell also gets plenty of branding opportunities and access to “thought leaders” like dude in hoodies who make techno.

The website is a little odd and I wonder if Dell will be able to survive its interface with Vibe without wandering away confused. However, it’s an interesting example of media cross-marketing in an effort to gain a more aspirational crowd. Dell knows the low-end and the IT shop, but do they know how to sell to some skinny guy with a fixie?

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