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?