Intel ad campaign compares engineers to rock stars

Written by Ben Hardwidge

May 6, 2009 | 15:16

Tags: #4004 #actors #ad #advert #campaign #commercial #engineers #marketing #oops #sponsors #stars #tomorrow

Companies: #intel #rock

From the dancing Intel bunny men to “Intel Inside”, Intel’s memorable marketing campaigns have been hugely successful and iconic, and the company has just announced that it will unveil a new campaign in the UK, US and Germany on 11 May.

Called “Sponsors of Tomorrow”, the scheme is Intel’s first big marketing campaign for three years, and it will also launch in two dozen other countries throughout the year. An Intel spokesperson told us that “the key message of the campaign is that gigantic advances of the digital age have been made possible by silicon, and the vast majority of this silicon has come from Intel.”

Intel’s marketing director for the UK and Ireland, Gail Hall, explained that “for over 40 years Intel has been delivering tomorrow’s normal, and our new marketing campaign is a way for the world to be made aware of this fact.” She also added that “we’re hoping to convey that we’re not just a microprocessor company, but a move-society-forward-by-quantum-leaps company. Our image, our brand are far too powerful to just be a microprocessor when, in fact, the greatest strength of the Intel brand will always be what is still to come. What Intel develops today leads the path toward a better tomorrow.”

Intel expects the multi-million-dollar campaign to last between three and five years, and has already revealed the concepts behind some of the ads. One print ad will feature two contrasting pictures – one of a rock band on stage and one of a bunch of geeks in white lab coats. However, the ad will reveal that the guys in the lab coats designed Intel’s first 4004 CPU in the late 1960s. “Back in 1969,” says the ad, “their Intel 4004 blew people’s minds wide open – a tradition that’s still very much alive at Intel.” The ad will also feature the tagline: “Your rock stars aren’t like our rock stars.”

The rock star theme will also be featured in a number of online and TV ads, in which Intel engineers will be played by actors. Intel says that this is “a practice common to marketing campaigns of a quirky, tongue-in-cheek nature,” and Intel’s global consumer marketing manager, Sandra Lopez, explained that “several of the engineers we’re personifying confided that acting isn’t within their comfort zone.” However, the company does say that the engineers themselves “may be part of future campaign elements.”

Meanwhile, another ad called “Oops” will see Intel revealing a new CPU to a crowded auditorium, but the chip is then dropped on the floor and Intel employees and reporters then struggle to find the chip. This ad will feature the tagline: “Our big ideas aren’t like your big ideas.”

The campaign’s official website can be found here, but there’s only a logo on it at the moment. Does Intel need to convince people that it’s not just a processor company, and do you think this campaign will be successful for Intel? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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