Inside Intel's new ad effort: Affirmation and a silicon chip

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Intel Corp. wants business decision makers to say "yes" to its desktop, mobile and server microprocessors, showcased in a global campaign breaking June 4 in Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal.

The print, online and outdoor push-positioned as Intel's biggest ever campaign targeting medium and large businesses-is designed to pitch executives on the benefits of using the semiconductor giant's technology by touting its support for open computing standards, ongoing innovation via research and development, industry-leading performance and price. While spending was not disclosed, Intel spent an estimated $80 million on last year's "Macroprocessing" global campaign (AA, May 21, 2001) to reach a similar audience.

Havas' Euro RSCG MVBMS, New York, created the campaign, which breaks with a four-page spread bearing the headline "Do Intel engineers have a secret formula for success?" with a picture of a single silicon wafer packed with Intel's Itanium 2 processors. The page is followed by a "Yes" and copy points outlining the key ingredients to Intel's success-advanced engineering, innovation, mass production and reinvestment.

The silicon wafer, in this campaign, becomes an icon. "The campaign definitely represents a departure from past business efforts. The `Yes' over the silicon wafer is a graphic icon, a symbol of the substance of what they are and the `Yes' is a representation of who they are as a company," said Ron Berger, CEO, Euro RSCG MVBMS.

Intel has long dominated the global market for desktop, mobile and server microprocessors. However, in the desktop segment, rival Advanced Micro Devices was able to steal in and gain a 20% share. Meanwhile, Sun Microsystems and IBM Corp. have made inroads in the server processor market.

"We found that of our target audience-business executives and information technology management-that IT management was tuned into our value proposition but the C-suite [CEOs, CIOs] linked Intel [only] to the desktop processor space," said Jane Price, Intel's director of business marketing. "We wanted to refresh the basics, the C-suite executives are further removed from actual purchase decisions." The campaign will highlight the benefits of Intel's processors and other yet-to-be-named products. Customer testimonials are also planned.

Intel has planned four print executions for the initial ad flight in the U.S. which will appear in Forbes, Time Inc.'s Fortune, McGraw-Hill Cos.' BusinessWeek, as well as other leading business publications and their Web sites. Outdoor advertising will appear in key Intel markets. No TV is planned. In a different ad, Intel founder Gordon Moore is referenced with the line, "Will Moore's Law stand forever?" Copy elaborates the story behind Moore's Law, which holds that the number of transistors on a chip would grow exponentially each year. Since 1965, the "law" has also represented the relentless advance of technology.

the numbers

Intel spent $119.9 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2001 and $4.4 million from January-February of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. For the first quarter, Intel reported revenue of $6.8 billion, up 2% from a year ago. Net income rose 93% to $936 million. Intel's stock, trading around $28, remains about 63% below its 2000 peak.

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