The kid you see in the Dell
People today may not remember who George Whipple is, or the Maytag repairman, but they do know this kid. He's really well known for one phrase "Dude, you're getting a Dell."
He looks like a rather dim high school kid, trying to sell a computer to his friend's parents, then in later commercials sitting on a couch and comparing it to a old computer that you can replace for under $1000US.
Somehow he's reached cult status, with fan mail from teenage girls and senior citizens. Dell credits him and the ads for giving Dell a 16.5% increase in market share.
From CNN.com's article:
The young Tennessee native was discovered by Dell's former New York agency, Lowe Worldwide. Dell, however, moved its $200 million account to another agency, DDB Chicago, last year and used Curtis' talent to make a series of successful commercials.
Curtis is so popular that it became difficult for him to complete a photo shoot this week without a fan shouting or running over to grab a little bit of him.
"I want a Dell, dude!" shouted one teen-age boy. "Can I have a hug?" asked a teen-age girl.
Curtis won't reveal what he makes for the ads, but he told USA Today that "it helps with school and living in New York."
Curtis told the paper that he eventually hopes to make independent films. He says he is not sure how long Steve's appeal will last but that he will enjoy the perks along the way.
'People are talking'
Dell is enjoying the Steven exposure all the way to the bank. The company says its recognition factor has doubled.
Industry observers have recognized the remarkable achievement. "There's nothing else going on right now that people are talking about like this in the advertising world," says Todd Wasserman of Brandweek magazine, an advertising trade publication.
The marketing strategy is simple: A young guy will get people to buy.
But Steven's appeal goes beyond his youthful age group. "I think he's the best thing since sliced bread," said one white-haired gentleman in Times Square, perhaps indicating the Dell guy does not appeal only to the teen set.
Curtis explains, "We found an energy that a lot of people can appeal to, and if you don't hate it, you can laugh at it."
http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/31/dell.guy/index.html (even a video interview)
Personally, I can't see why so many people go for him, he's the dopey personality I stayed away from in High school. Maybe it's because he doesn't look like a geek, he looks normal, like the kind of guy who'd buy an iMac for its ease of use.
I'm not sure if I could complain, I happened to like Jeff Goldblum in the iMac ads, and I long for the day when he returns to talk about the flat-panel iMacs.
One of the big gossip pieces that got widespread news was that Ben got arrested in February 2003 for purchasing marijuana in downtown Manhattan on the Lower East Side (at Ludlow and Rivington). His drug dealer was Omar Mendez. The charge carries a misdemeanor.
Why do I have a strong suspicion that he reads E2? Could he be...Roninspoon?
re: Steven Curtis: Dude, that's just mean. I do hate that kid.
Well, it sure isn't TheBooBooKitty, he's way too cool for that.