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A Mouse and a Maze Make for a Hot Match

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

June 25, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Dell Computer

Agency: J. Walter Thompson, Chicago

Challenge: Create an image for the PC supplier that distinguishes it from competitors in its first global brand campaign.

The Ad: An adorable mouse spots a tempting piece of cheese at the far end of a complicated-looking maze. Rather than struggle through the maze, the mouse coolly sets it on fire, donning dark glasses to protect its eyes from the bright flames. "What's the best way to get around obstacles?" a narrator says. "Eliminate them." The narrator explains that Dell deals directly with every customer "so that nothing comes between you and what you want."

Comment: The mouse's response to the maze is so unexpected, you can't help but take notice. And it is a perfect metaphor for Dell, which has eliminated the middleman as a direct seller of computers. The mouse isn't destructive so much as confident and smart. And by implication, so are Dell and its customers. $$$$

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