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Spoof ads are Intel's biggest marketing push to date

Intel Corp. (INTC) in the 1990s and early 2000s was known for its iconic print ads of clean-room workers in colorful suits. The company, now looking to find a new way to convince users to upgrade their computers and in the process feed Intel's prcessor sales machine, is launching a massive new campaign, which spoofs the spaghetti western genre and promotes how much faster its new ultrabooks are compared to "old fashioned" laptops.



Intel's campaign will reportedly carry a sticker of "hundreds of millions of dollars" -- the biggest campaign at Intel in 10 years -- and is dubbed "A New Era of Computing".  

It will start with YouTube and television ads, and be filled in with print ads.  Then in April an interactive website will launch to enhance the experience.  The ad campaign is being managed by San Francisco ad shop Venables Bell & Partners.

The world's largest chipmaker (revenue) insists that 2012 is "the year of the ultrabook".  While the ultralight form factor isn't exactly new-hat, having been most notably championed by early adopter Apple, Inc. (AAPL) (whose MacBook Air contained Intel chips). Intel feels the time is right for sub-18 mm thick, battery-sipping, fast laptops.

Early reviews of devices from Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ), and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) (among others) have been mixed.  The devices face a tough job meeting conflict objectives, such as thin form factor but long battery life; processing power, but cool operation.

It would be easy to chalk Intel's big marketing effort up to mere optimism, but it's likely also a bit of pragmatism.  Intel is facing its first real challenge in years as ARM chipmakers invade its home court -- the personal computer -- later this year.

Sources: Intel [YouTube], [press release]





"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007



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