Top 25 Brand Leaders

Rebecca Fannin

The chief marketing officer at Dell, Mike George, and top officials from the company's advertising agency, BBDO, had worked hard on a new advertising campaign for the Texas-based maker of technology products. They thought they had a great tag line, 'Dare to question', and submitted the plan to Chairman Michael Dell and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Rollins.

At many companies, the top brass probably would have simply signed off. But Dell and Rollins nixed the proposed campaign, and sent the frustrated marketing team back to their white boards to rethink the whole approach. The two leaders wanted a message that responded to the frustration many personal computer users feel in getting their machines to perform properly. The team came up with a new approach: 'You know better. Dell knows how.' That won quick approval and the ad campaign began in May 2004.