TECH

Ben Curtis, 'Dell Dude,' Says He Can Save Struggling Computer Maker

Jan 25, 2013

Ben Curtis, whom you may remember as Steven, the ever-so-chill star of the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" campaign that ran from 2000 to 2003, told Bloomberg that he's the key to saving the struggling company.

“I think they’re making a huge mistake and simply need to bring back the Dell Dude!” Curtis told Bloomberg's Mark Milian in an email. “That’s it. That’s all they need to do. If they brought me back, their sales, stock and media presence would skyrocket. That is by FAR the smartest move they could make.”

When reached by phone on Thursday, Curtis outlined his vision for the new marketing campaign: Bring back the Dell Dude as a young businessman succeeding in the corporate world.

"Everyone loves the personality," Curtis told The Huffington Post. "It would be a great way to reach out to the consumers."

Dell is far from the company it was in the days of the Dell Dude, when it became the largest PC maker in the world.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that the company is in talks to go private. And The New York Times related dismal figures from the market analysis firm Gartner, which reported that sales of Dell's PCs dropped 12.3 percent in 2012. The company lags behind HP and Lenovo when it comes to sales of PCs, according to Gartner.

Like HP and Lenovo, Dell is grappling with dwindling demand for traditional desktop and laptop computers with the advent of tablets like Apple Inc's iPad. Sales of PCs over the holidays slid for the first time in more than five years, according to industry researcher IDC.

In 2003, when Curtis was 22, he was arrested in New York City for buying marijuana. The charges were dropped, and his relationship with Dell ended soon after that.

"I know that America loves a comeback," Curtis told HuffPost, calling the Dell Dude spots "one of the greatest commercial campaigns in history." He said people still approach him and tell him how much they loved the ads.

And while Curtis, who's acting off-Broadway and recently produced and starred in the film "We Are the Hartmans," still has a Dell from his days as the company pitchman, he's now a Mac user.

"It's not out of any opinion of Dell now," he said. "It's just what I needed to get for school."

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