The world's dominant chipmaker's aim is to use its clout to make Pentium II the standard in business PCs this year.
The company launches the microprocessor May 7 in the U.S. with a three-day ad schedule in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and a handful of major metro papers. Page ads and spreads start May 19 in business magazines and computer publications.
"The next chapter in PC technology," claims the headline; ads were created by Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White, Salt Lake City.
The print campaign also starts this week in major global markets.
Intel concurrently will run Web banner ads in the company's biggest business Web campaign to date. Banners and the print ads will steer customers to a new section of content for business buyers on Intel's site (www.intel.com).
TESTING WEB RESPONSE
In an intriguing test, Intel will use one Web address in print ads and another on banner ads to measure the effectiveness of each medium in driving traffic to the site.
"When you talk about doing an integrated campaign, using the Web and business print . . . and doing some experimentation in terms of [measuring] response, I think it all really starts to come together," said Ann Lewnes, Intel's director of worldwide advertising.
Pentium II will go on sale immediately in most major markets.
"The market is evolving in such a way that technology introductions need to occur simultaneously," Ms. Lewnes said.
The estimated $20 million budget will be split evenly between the U.S. and international markets.
Pentium II is an enhanced version of Pentium Pro, the former high-end line, with the addition of MMX, a technology for improved multimedia performance.
The Pentium II consumer launch has been delayed because a chip set needed for consumer multimedia PCs isn't yet available, said Dean McCarron, principal at computer chip consultancy Mercury Research. But PC makers will start selling Pentium II home machines late this year, he said.
In typical Intel style, the new chip arrives as rivals start to knock off the old standard. Advanced Micro Devices and Cyrix Corp. this year are introducing cheaper, powerful alternatives to Pentium.
FIGHTING LOW-COST CHIPS
Intel also has to deal with a new phenomenon: the increasing popularity of $1,000 PCs that use low-cost chips-anathema to a company whose premise is selling the fastest, latest and greatest chips.
Intel was unsuccessful in its bid to control the name "MMX," which it reluctantly has licensed to Advanced Micro Devices and Cyrix. Despite the hype Intel is making over MMX in the home market, Intel won't play up that feature in its Pentium II communication.