Dell transforms entrepreneurs into heroes

The 'Take Your Own Path' campaign launches in print and online, developing the brand's relationship with self-starters who have achieved massive success.

Dell is using the brains behind such major businesses as LinkedIn and the Lonely Planet guidebooks in its latest global marketing campaign, ‘Take Your Own Path’ (TYOP). The print, TV and online campaign is meant to show how Dell technology can help small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs, and showcase those who have succeeded – just like Michael Dell, who started the business 25 years ago, says Lisa O’Reilly, senior manager, global campaign, SMB marketing, Dell.

‘We’re taking the traditional idea of a celebrity endorsement and adding a new twist, by treating our customers – many of which have achieved extraordinary things – as celebrities. And in celebrating our heroes, we forge a deeper relationship with them,’ O’Reilly tells MiC.

The campaign spans billboard, broadcast and online, but the primary focus of the campaign in Canada, targeting small and medium business owners, is print. Ads will run in magazines like Canadian Business (November) and EnRoute (December). Creative was developed by New York-based Enfatico, with media buying handled by MediaCom.

Dell’s online marketing will also expand the Small and Medium Business Solutions Center and will try to engage consumers via the Direct2Dell community and Facebook page.

Of the ‘TYOP’ heroes, Berj Bannayan (pictured), president and lead software developer at Soho VFX (responsible for The Incredible Hulk and X-Men Origins: Wolverine blockbusters), is the only Canadian. But other notables include Americans Tony Wheeler, who co-founded the Lonely Planet guidebooks in 1973 with his wife, and Reid Hoffman, the founder and CEO of LinkedIn. As the campaign is global, other ‘celebrities’ also include entrepreneurs from across Europe, Japan, China and India.