Da Vinci – Not interested in award winners

Here’s a piece of an article recently posted to the online version of the
Austin American Statesman regarding Dell/WPP’s Da Vinci (with my thoughts in parenthesis):
The new agency in Austin will work with Mark Jarvis, Dell’s new chief marketing officer, and Casey Jones, vice president for global marketing, as well as and Dell’s worldwide marketing and communications teams in Round Rock and elsewhere.

The approach of creating an agency geared toward one large client created some consternation in the advertising industry (of course it did, along with layoffs), but it also sparked a heated and closely watched competition for Dell’s advertising business. WPP eventually beat out Interpublic Group of Cos. (I wonder if Interpublic will be thankful for the loss in the near future), the other finalist for the account.

The project to consolidate Dell’s advertising and marketing into one agency account was spearheaded by Jarvis (What’s the average tenure of CMOs these days?). Dell had set out to create an advertising partner that would “spend 100 percent of their time thinking about our customers (I guess someone has to think of Dell’s customers), rather than how they will get the next assignment,” according to an entry by Jarvis on www.direct2dell.com, the company’s official blog (Who outside of Dell reads the blog?).

Rather than looking for talent focused on nabbing industry awards for their creativity (ok so maybe the title of this post should be – Da vinci – Not interested in award winners or creatives), Jones said, “we want people who get up and come to work every day at the agency for the same reason we do: to create success for Dell. (I won’t mention the ~successful~ Dell MP3 player)”

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