Bunny People-a takeoff on the workers who wear so-called bunny suits to keep the chip labs sterile-were introduced in Intel's campaign to launch the Pentium MMX chip, which broke during January's Super Bowl telecast. MMX boosts the multimedia power of PCs, so ads play off disco-dancing technicians who engineer fun into Intel chips.
Appearances in stores and at conventions are in the works, and Intel is tying them to Web promotions, including a weekly feature it sponsors with CNET (http://www.cnet.com).
A third Bunny People spot breaks March 22 on the NCAA broadcast, with the dancers hopping to the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive."
PRINT ADS START IN MAY TITLES
Print ads starting in May magazines put the Bunny People in incongruous positions-on a beach, in a ballet, with a mariachi band-to show how MMX boosts a PC's video and audio capabilities. Intel added a few new titles-Details, George, Self and Spin-to its broad U.S. print buy of computer and consumer magazines.
MMX and the Bunny People are the consumer focus of Intel's global ad effort this year. Intel will use a separate and more serious campaign for Pentium II, a new chip aimed at business for which advertising will begin in "the next couple of months," said Ann Lewnes, director of worldwide advertising.
In total, Intel is expected to spend $150 million on global advertising, up from $120 million last year.
Intel wants to bring to the Web the '70s dance music in its TV spots-the coming "Stayin' Alive" and Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)"-possibly through a tie-in with MTV Networks, which has worked with Intel on several projects.
ENERGIZER BUNNY TIE-IN?
One idea being mulled by Ms. Lewnes: a tie-in between Bunny People and the Energizer Bunny. Intel and Eveready Battery Co. haven't had any talks yet.
The MMX advertising is Intel's most global campaign ever, running in some 50 countries including China, India and Russia.
Intel and agency Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White, Salt Lake City, engineered the campaign to cross borders. Ms. Lewnes said the kitschy disco music tests well globally, and the Bunny People's dark-tinted helmets mask their identity.
"When you have guys wearing costumes with helmets, it's much easier to internationalize them," she said.