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Intel bows online video campaign

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Intel Corp. last week kicked off an online video campaign featuring rock stars poking fun at common IT problems in a series of music videos running on YouTube and an Intel microsite.

The campaign, called “Hard Meets Soft,” uses a mix of hard and soft rock to promote Intel’s vPro and Centrino technologies, which combine hardware and software solutions to meet the needs of IT professionals.

“We have more security and management capabilities built into our hardware, specifically the vPro and Centrino products,” said Travis Hockersmith, integrated marketing program manager-business client at Intel.

“One issue we’ve dealt with is trying to communicate to IT managers what the benefits are and how they’re different from the software. We’ve had trouble trying to tell this complex story.”

So Intel partnered with MRM Worldwide, which is part of McCann Worldgroup, to create a video campaign that would be fun and engaging, as well as educate the IT audience about the benefits of the Intel technology.

The videos were directed by Christopher Guest, whose writing and directing credits include “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.”

In one film, called “Everything Has Changed,” musician Dan Finnerty from the Dan Band, who also appeared in the movies “Old School” and “Starsky and Hutch,” wanders down the corridors of an office building, singing about the frustrations of an IT professional.

His ballad of IT woes, with lyrics including, “Trouble tickets everywhere—tangled up in old software,” are interspersed with scenes of an IT worker trying to solve computer problems.

But then there’s a cut to the solution, as hard rock musician Rob Giles and his band kick up the beat with a rousing jam about Intel hardware.

Giles sings, “Everything has changed, not just rearranged. Hardware-based technology has finally set me free.”

A second video, called “Set IT Managers Free,” also features music by Finnerty and Giles, with references to common IT problems such as Trojans, security threats and desk-to-desk troubleshooting.

At the end of the video, the musicians come together to jam in a corner of an office, complete with smoke, colored lights and office workers waving lighters and cell phones.

Intel seeded the videos on YouTube.com, as well as a landing page at www.itgetseasier.com.

“In the past, we’ve had similar types of units promoted in different ways, including through paid media or running as banner ads,” Hockersmith said. “This time we decided to try to make it, at least for the initial period, propagate itself organically with no paid media.”

So far, it seems to be working. In the first three days of the campaign, the videos saw more than 11,000 downloads, and several bloggers mentioned the ads. Hockersmith also said the video campaign is different from traditional advertising because the message itself is the content.

“In traditional media, you see the ad between pieces of content. With this campaign, we are trying to make the ads themselves the entertainment and deliver content that people want to see that can also be educational.”

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