$150 mil push: Intel inside the Internet

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Aiming to transcend the niche it has inhabited so ubiquitously for the past decade, Intel Corp. today unveils the first elements of an estimated $150 million global ad push that positions it as a powerful Internet enabler.

Spending for the effort, half of the chipmaker's $300 million annual global marketing budget for the Pentium III, represents its biggest yearend consumer campaign ever, said Ann Lewnes, worldwide advertising director.

"People have a picture of Intel as a microprocessor company, but we want to broaden the perception," Ms. Lewnes said.


The effort signals Intel's desire to position itself as a nimble Internet company--a goal shared by other tech leaders, ranging from Microsoft Corp. to Hewlett-Packard Co.

The twin-pronged campaign leads off with four new TV spots, the first of which breaks tonight on Fox's "Ally McBeal," to promote the capabilities of Intel's Pentium III processor in offering consumers a richer, more engaging Internet experience.

The spots, created by Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, follow up Intel's Pentium III launch in March, but the new creative explicitly links the Pentium III to enjoying a more lively Net experience.

SFM Media, New York, handles broadcast buying. Messner handles other media and shares Internet ad buying with Modem Media-Poppe Tyson, San Francisco.

Modem Media created Internet advertising running on at least 30 sites including popular search engines, gaming and lifestyle sites.

The media plan calls for banner ads enhanced with pop-up screens and so-called rich Web media.


The Internet is a major part of the TV effort. The 30-second "Rocketship" spot shows a little boy riding a coin-operated rocket ship until it breaks down, leaving him to imagine a moon flight, or better yet, getting to the moon via the Internet on his Pentium III-jazzed PC. The boy is aided by logging onto National Geographic's site, which is featured in the spot with the voice-over: "Don't just get onto the Internet, get into it. If you can't do it in life, do it on the Web with the power of the Pentium III processor."

The spot hammers the Net message again at the end, but adds Intel's Web address: "Don't just get onto the Internet, get into it at intel.com," to drive home Intel's Web prowess.

Three additional executions are planned that also showcase other Web sites.

Meanwhile, Intel is gearing up yet another effort for its new Web-Outfitter Service, an optimized site with exclusive content, plug-ins and tools made available only to Pentium III owners. TV and print ads are planned for early October.

On Sept. 20, Intel launches a separate print and Web campaign targeting business leaders to promote the fact that it's more than just a chip company.

Ads breaking in Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, The Industry Standard, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will flag, for the first time, the magnitude of Intel's own e-commerce efforts, as well as its involvement in Internet data services, investments in hot start-ups, and the development of a networking processor that's expected to become a cornerstone of new data and voice networks.


"The campaign is very unique for us. It's Intel transforming itself into a building block supplier to the Internet," Ms. Lewnes said.

One spread features the word

e-commerce against a blue background with Intel's dropped "e" as the middle "e" of the word. Text on the right proclaims that Intel processes $1 billion in online orders a month and drives readers to a special Web site: intel.com/ebusiness.

The effort represents Messner Vetere's first major brand push in the business arena for Intel, which moved business advertising in April from Euro RSCG DSW Partners, Salt Lake City. Intel moved its consumer account to Messner Vetere last year.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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