NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After more than a decade, Intel returns to the Super Bowl this year to kick off a campaign for its 2010 Intel Core Processor, billed as its biggest product launch in five years.
"A lot has changed in the past 13 years [since Intel's first Super Bowl campaign]. People are using computers in completely new and different ways," said Heather Dixon, Intel consumer marketing manager. "It's not just surfing the internet anymore; the No. 1 and No. 2 reasons now are social networking and videos."
Intel's new "smart" Core family was announced earlier this month, boasting intelligent power consumption and power boosts, but products with the processors inside won't hit shelves until the week before the Super Bowl. "The timing is perfect. ... We want to send a signal to consumers and to the industry that this [product] is a game changer," Ms. Dixon added.
One 30-second ad will run in the fourth quarter and two will run after the game; Intel is title sponsor of the post-game show.
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The last Super Bowl ads for Intel in the late '90s promoted its then-new Pentium II processor and introduced the disco-dancing "Bunny People" spots, the super-shiny-suited characterizations of "real" clean-room technicians that promoted the brand. Super Bowl "Bunny People" ads ran for two years in a row -- 1997 and 1998 -- before the tech giant left the big game for more than a decade.
The employees are back in the 2010 Bowl ad too, as Intel continues its "Sponsors of Tomorrow" campaign launched in May 2009. Those "geek humor" ads feature real Intel employees with taglines such as "Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars," in which USB-inventor Ajay Bhatt walks through an Intel employee room for coffee to cheers, screams and applause; and "Our jokes aren't like your jokes," in which an Intel worker cracks himself up by changing a minus sign into a plus sign on a coworker's complex mathematical equation.
The new ads will also feature employees with an "evolved storyline" and the now familiar employee chorus of the five-tone "Intel Bong," although Ms. Dixon declined to reveal any more details. Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, created the ads, while Omnicom Group's OMD, Chicago, is the media buyer. This is Venables' second 2010 Super Bowl ad (it has also created a 60-second Audi of America spot set for the fourth quarter).
Intel's Super Bowl marketing with CBS will also include social-media marketing, radio, a mobile push and online marketing including a special CNET.con/Intel page about the products.
Ms. Dixon said the Super Bowl ads will continue to run through the spring as part of the 2010 Core processor campaign.