Intel's ad blitz for Pentium III puts it on track for $1 bil record

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Intel Corp.'s Pentium III ad blitz appears on track to be the largest launch campaign for a technology product in history.

The $300 million consumer global marketing campaign announced by Intel will be "almost all advertising," said Ann Lewnes, director of worldwide advertising. By contrast, Microsoft Corp. spent about $150 million four years ago on the TV campaign for Windows 95.

Pentium III advertising will run "on every medium we can find," said Ms. Lewnes.


The $300 million doesn't include the millions of dollars Intel will spend on a separate Pentium III ad campaign aimed at the business market. And it doesn't include the hundreds of millions of dollars expected to be spent by PC makers on Intel-subsidized ads for Pentium III machines.

Intel earlier this decade became the tech industry's biggest ad spender. But that was based mostly on its estimated $750 million "Intel inside" co-op program for PC makers.


With the Pentium III launch, Intel becomes one of the biggest tech advertisers based on its own advertising. Its global ad budget this year for Pentium III and other products, such as its low-priced Celeron chip, is estimated at $350 million--nearly double what Intel spent in 1998. Add the co-op budget, and Intel this year will be the first $1 billion ad spender in the technology market.

Intel's integrated marketing campaign uses a theme created by Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York: a sym- bolic blue door to the Internet future, and the line, "This way in."

Messner Vetere handles the consumer ads while Modem Media, San Francisco, and Euro RSCG DSW Partners, Salt Lake City and San Francisco, handle the Web effort. DSW also handles the separate business campaign.

The "lion's share" of the Pentium III budget will go to TV, said John Travis, manager of consumer advertising.

Outdoor and Web ads are already appearing, and newspaper ads kick off Feb. 23. Pentium III PC's go on sale Feb. 26, and Intel will begin to run three to five 30-second spots in the U.S.--and similar work in other markets--two days later.

Shawn Conly, worldwide interactive advertising manager, said Intel is increasing its interactive budget to 5% to 12% of the overall ad budget, up from 2% last year. That could make it one of the three largest Web advertisers, along with Microsoft and IBM Corp.


While Intel's customers are PC makers, the focus at a launch event in San Jose, Calif., last week was on Web content providers and software makers with applications requiring the fastest Intel chip. Excite, for example, debuted a 3-D portal, Excite Extreme, designed for Pentium III PC's with 56K modems.

Said Nick Glassman, manager of Excite Extreme: "When Intel comes along and says, `We have a $300 million marketing budget, we have a new chip,' that creates a new market."

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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