Kicking up a stink. How Dell can solve their 'cat urine' problem.

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In the laptop market, competition is fierce. So many brands, designs and features - manufacturers are constantly looking for innovative ways to make their kit more attractive. Interestingly, none of them has ever released a machine emitting the unmistakable pong of cat pee. Until recently.
It seems a mistake in the construction of Dell’s Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks ensured they arrived reeking of feline urine.  Which is a novel feature, but perhaps one not guaranteed to boost sales. Now I should point out that Dell have assured us the problem has been fixed, didn't emanate from an animal and all new purchases come up smelling of daisies. Or at least smelling of laptops.

But just in case the glitch appear again, I'm pleased to present a print-out-and-keep guide to marketing computers that smell of kitty wee.

- Pitch your product to actual cats. They use urine to mark their territory, so they'll be delighted to own a 'pre-marked' laptop. Y'know, to deter other cats from reading their emails or altering their Facebook status to 'chasing a piece of string'.

- Run a big campaign in 'Anosmia Gazette'. Anosmics have no sense of smell, but that doesn't make them any less likely to covet shiny new technology. To them, their widdle scented 'puter will be a straight-up marvel without drawbacks. Until, I suppose, their non-asnomic friends call round and say 'You ought to take that cat of yours to a vet'.

- Set up a tie-in promotion with Febreze. Perhaps including a free case of the odour repellent with every Latitude 6430u, would prove attractive to punters and go some way to alleviating the surprise and disappointment that comes with a toilet flavoured Dell.

- Assure users that the nasty honk is caused by the heat generated by the astonishingly rapid speed of the processor. You may have to wear a hanky over your face while you're working, but boy, look at that thing go!

- Put a kitten in every box**. People love kittens. So much so, that they'll find it impossible to blame Tiddles for ruining their new laptop and just say 'Aw, sweet!' a lot.

- Take the Dell badge off and replace it with an Apple logo. Those trendy types need taking down a peg or two. Before you know it, Shoreditch will smell like a giant litter tray.

- Deny everything. "No madam, we've never heard that complaint before. Do you own a cat yourself? Well, there you go then."

- Enforce the 'No Pets At Work' rule at the Dell factory. Ruthlessly.

- Answer the customer complaints line with a confident 'Miaow'.

- Encourage 'Pets At Home' to stock Dell computers. Shoppers will only realise it's their kit causing the whiff when they get their laptop home.

- Create a new 'normal'. Somehow persuade all the other manufacturers to impregnate their machines with a variety of animal sprinkle - bear, wolf, giraffe, unicorn, that sort of thing.

- Label the whole batch 'Limited Edition'.

- Clothes pegs.

Hope that helps.

* May not be an actual publication
** Don't do this

Magnus Shaw is a blogger, copywriter and consultant

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