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The consumer effort is one of the first multi-vendor advertising efforts attempting to define, market and monetize the push of digital home-consumer electronics.
Intel and Microsoft decided to work together on the ongoing project because the companies have a "shared vision for the digital home and enabling how people access" entertainment and information, an Intel spokeswoman said.
The budget for the campaign is in the "low tens of millions" of dollars, according to Intel.
'Digital Joy' TV spots
The first TV spots promote the "Digital Joy" of media center PCs that feature Intel's Pentium 4 processor with HT and Microsoft's XP Media Center Edition software. HT, or hyper-threading, is an Intel technology that allows faster processing of several streams of information at the same time. In home entertainment, for example, users could download and listen to music while also editing video and playing an online game.
The spots show movie and TV characters as well as average family members converging on a street and walking toward a home where a family sits together on a couch enjoying their media computer and its wide variety of entertainment content.
The ads will break during ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and sibling ESPN's Sunday Night Football, and will point users to a Web site that goes live on Sunday for more details and special deals on specific media-enabled computers from Hewlett-Packard.
Print, cinema and online
The campaign will also include print, cinema and online advertising, as well as event marketing in the form of "experience zones" for consumers at 38 high-traffic malls around the country.
As part of their joint effort, Intel and Microsoft agreed to use neither of their ad agencies of record -- Havas' Euro RSCG of New York and Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson of San Francisco, respectively -- for the digital home advertising work. Instead, they selected Interpublic's Deutsch of New York for the project.