Forget “Intel Inside”. The world’s biggest manufacturer of microprocessors has a new tagline: “Sponsors of Tomorrow”.
Intel’s new three-year advertising campaign kicked off in May with the launch of a thoughtful new website, viral video ads and interactive display advertising in New York’s Times Square and other branding hotspots around the globe.
The campaign is designed to promote Intel’s role in shaping the future rather than the present. Venables Bell & Partners, the San Francisco-based advertising agency behind the campaign, elected to promote the idea that Intel’s brand halo rests not on how consumers perceive the speed of their computers today but on the future possibilities Intel is hatching.
The tone of the campaign is probably best illustrated by the below video, featuring an actor playing Intel’s Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of U.S.B., being mobbed like a rock star by colleagues as he strolls in slow motion through Intel’s cafeteria.
The other video on Intel’s site is embedded at the bottom of this post.
In addition to videos, the website contains a number of quirky explorations of Intel’s R&D culture. You can play a game that involves dressing an Intel researcher, play around with a wind tunnel or leave a short message describing your “vision of tomorrow”, which soon appears in a stream of similar visions from people around the world.
Electronic billboards in Times Square, San Francisco, LA, Berlin and other prominent cities perform a similar function by inviting people to text message their future visions, which, once moderated, appear on billboards around the US.
Intel is at an interesting time in its development.
It is a household name, despite the fact that it does not sell its products direct to consumers. Its microchips can be found in most homes in the developed world and it dominates the global computer chip market, which is worth approximately AU$45 billion a year.
But, like Microsoft, this dominance has attracted scrutiny from regulators worldwide – most notably the European Commission, which on 13 May fined Intel €1.06 billion (about AU$2.1 billion) for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. The company has also been hit hard by the global economic downturn, seeing its profit slashed by 55 percent in the first quarter of 2009.
While Intel might be preoccupied with the minutia of today, its “Sponsors of Tomorrow” campaign represents a progressive push at a time when other brands are retreating into a crouch.