Intel widens 'unwired' focus beyond business, tech heads

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call it Intel outside.

Intel Corp. next week makes a major push for everyday consumers to adopt what it's calling the unwired computer lifestyle, with executions showing people online in backyards and airports.

Earlier this year, Intel announced a $300 million marketing campaign backing its Centrino technology, which enables laptop computers to hook into the Internet in Wi-Fi hot spots. The first phase of the campaign, running in 11 nations, targeted business users and tech-savvy consumers. Now, it's expanding to a broader audience ranging from moms to students.

"We want to create a category, own a category and generate preference for Centrino," said Sean Connolly, Intel's advertising manager.

Five TV spots illustrate situations where everyday people enjoy the benefits of using their laptops without wired Internet connections. In one, a father and son settle in a comfortable spot in a sunny backyard. Another shows a businesswoman sending an urgent email while waiting at an airport. Print and outdoor ads have headlines such as "Make all your connections" and "No excess baggage."

consumer publications

The campaign's first phase concentrated on business publications, but the new effort will expand into consumer publications such as Time Inc.'s Time. Intel also has joined with Conde Nast's The New Yorker and Zagat Survey to develop a mini-guide to Wi-Fi hotspots that runs in the publication's Sept. 22 issue. Intel also collaborated with Ziff Davis Media's PC Magazine and Yahoo! for a guide to Wi-Fi technology news.

Intel also is sponsoring a one-day promotion Sept. 25. The "One Unwired Day," will allow mobile PC users to have a free trial of public wireless Internet access at thousands of U.S. locations. In New York, Chicago and San Francisco, "Unwired" festivals with live concerts and product demonstrations are scheduled.

Dana Houghton, senior marketing manager, Intel's corporate marketing group, described its strategy in backing Wi-Fi as "awareness, education and hands-on experience." Havas' Euro MVBMS Partners, New York, is the agency.

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