Pentium 4 Promo Stunt Deploys 70 Sidewalk Laptoppers

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NEW YORK ( -- Intel Corp. "walking desks" take to the streets of New York tomorrow to show commuters
Photo: Intel
Squadrons of human desks deploy to offer pedestrians a chance to use Pentium 4 laptops.
the power of the company's new Pentium 4 processor for notebook computers.

More than 70 human desks with notebook PCs strapped to their chests will fan out across the city inviting consumers to experience music downloads, games, Net surfing and digital photography using the souped up Pentium 4 Processor-M.

The chipmaker will also set up kiosks in Grand Central Station, Penn Station and Columbia University to reach commuters and college students -- two targets for Intel. The day is capped with a concert by Barenaked Ladies in New York's Bryant Park.

Largest local campaign
The effort, Intel's largest ever local market push, is part of an estimated $75 million global campaign for the mobile processor. Wild postings and billboards also flag the new processor emblazoned with "Be Nimble. Be Quick" and "Do more. Carry less."

Intel's TV, print and online push for

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the Pentium 4 Processor-M and Pentium 4 chips, from Havas Advertising's Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG, New York, broke March 30. The effort targets consumers and businesses of all sizes. Advertising to big businesses is print focused.

"We're spending five times more this year than last on notebook advertising," said Ann Lewnes, vice president of consumer marketing for Intel.

Fast-growing segment
While the desktop PC market has slowed, the notebook PC segment is fast growing -- an estimated 30 million notebook PCs will be sold this year, according to tech researcher International Data Corp.

In a survey sponsored by Intel of more than 2,500 computer users by the Brain Group found that it's not just globe-trotting mobile professionals toting notebook PCs for work purposes. The survey found that 81% of those polled reported using their laptops in front of the TV, 60% in bed, 54% while eating and 48% while undressed or in their underwear.

Photo: Intel
An Intel walker allows a passerby to access the Internet on a street corner.
It found that laptops are traveling on vacations and to weddings and funerals; 41% of the respondents used their laptops while riding as a passenger in a car.

But Intel isn't the only player in town with a mobile push.

IBM ThinkPad push
IBM Corp. on April 23 breaks an estimated $30 million print campaign for its ThinkPad notebook PC brand. A spread breaks in The Wall Street Journal. The campaign, by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, is the first time IBM has done brand advertising for ThinkPad in two years, having instead used product-focused direct response and direct mail. ThinkPad exited the consumer retail channel last July.

The global campaign features 15 to 25 well-known people who IBM refers to as "notables" using a ThinkPad in their work and personal lives. Notables include HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan, restauranteur Keith McNally and professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., among others.

IBM asked each person "Where do you do your best thinking?" The result is a lushly photographed and diverse collection of ads that represent a departure from typical IBM advertising, said Scott Frank, vice president of marketing communications for IBM's personal computing division.

Global 'notables'
The "notables" chosen by IBM and Ogilvy had to have global

Photo: IBM
Judith Regan, Publisher, Regan Books/Harper Collins is one of the notables featured in IBM ads.
appeal, a tall order considering an individual might be a recognizable personality in Europe, but not in the U.S. or vice-versa.

"We worked with Ogilvy Europe and Asia Pacific to identify the notables from the U.S. that would resonate with customers in their region and, in addition, we developed a collection of local candidates that worked well for their specific markets," said John McNeil, the Ogilvy creative director for ThinkPad.

Ogilvy drew on the talents of three photographers -- Ron Haviv, Molly Bingham and Christopher Morris -- known for their work in photographing former President Bill Clinton, Vice President and former presidential candidate Al Gore and President George Bush. The photographers trailed ThinkPad notables in the same fashion as they covered Clinton, Gore and Bush.

Successful personalities
"While everyone else is busy talking only about speeds and feeds and price, we saw a real opportunity to represent ThinkPad as a brand and as the choice of successful personalities everywhere," Mr. McNeil said.

The effort also does not tie in to the corporate "Play to win" e-business campaign but the company is considering such a connection next year, Mr. Frank said.

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