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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]



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By someguy123 on 4/5/2012 4:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
This is clearly being pushed at college kids, where the desire is there (though still skewed towards apple). Even if they wanted an Ipad, it would be a hard sell to their parents. People still regard laptops/ultraslims/netbooks whatever you want to call it as work related, whereas tablets are seen as entertainment platforms or for social websites.

Intel just needs to do what samsung does with their android phones: show people that it's still sleek but ultimately better value (in parts or otherwise).


By dark matter on 4/5/2012 7:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
It would be an easier sell if those tablets are cheaper than an ultrabook.

Especially if they could get there coursework books on it. Arrange meetings on it. They could do all their coursework in their dorm, rather than in the park. lol. And for that they don't need anything ultramobile. A cheap laptop and a tablet is probably less than an intel ultrabook.

Some of them go for more than Macbook air... Lol..


By someguy123 on 4/5/2012 7:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's going to be cheaper, but the point is perception and a bit of reality, considering workplace software still comes under microsoft. They're increasing compatibility but right now the only thing you can get are low feature ports.

Your kid asks you for an ipad and you're going to conjure up angry birds, facebook, netflix etc. He asks you for a desktop or a laptop and you'd be less hesitant. With an ultraslim the kid gets his shiny status icon that's somewhat practical. Campuses are still pretty much filled with apple laptops/macbook airs, and I think that's what they're really competing with rather than tablets.


By dark matter on 4/6/2012 4:32:01 AM , Rating: 1
My point being, that given a choice between a Dell ultrabook, a Tablet or a MacBook Air.

What do you think is going to sell?

If the Dell Ultrabook is priced the same as the MacBook Air?

THIS IS WHAT INTEL IS TRYING TO COMPETE WITH - MACBOOK AIR

Does anyone even know that about the term "ULTRABOOK"??

I mean, fucking seriously, judging by the comments, obviously not.


By Visual on 4/6/2012 8:38:33 AM , Rating: 2
Given that choice, I'd still buy a tablet-convertible laptop. With dedicated GPU. Like the tm2 or more recently the t901. Though right now I would probably chose to wait out for a ivy bridge update and even newer GPU.


By ilt24 on 4/6/2012 8:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
THIS IS WHAT INTEL IS TRYING TO COMPETE WITH - MACBOOK AIR


Not all all, it doesn't make a difference to Intel if someone buys a Macbook Air or an Ultrabook, they both result in Intel selling a CPU and Chipset. While Apple has grown it's desktop and laptop market share since moving to x86 processors, it just a few % and still for the most part it's only people who want to use OSx who buy Macs.

With Ultrabooks, Intel is trying to give people a reason to upgrade from their existing laptop, by pushing the thin/light form as well features such as touchscreen, getting closer to instant on, SSD's, better battery life...

This is the same strategy they used with centrino, where they tried to convince people they needed wi-fi. They also did this back when OEM's started to include USB, they created a bunch of USB devices, cameras, mp3 players, wireless keyboards and toys as a way to make people think they needed to upgrade to a PC that had USB.


By someguy123 on 4/6/2012 9:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ultrabook is just a marketing term. For someone complaining endlessly about how gimmicky the concept is, you sure eat up their marketing terms like candy.

laptops/netbooks/ultrabooks may as well all be classified as laptops. I don't remember calling my thinkpad a fattop, nor my substantially slimmer Asus a slimtop. Laptops have their own market outside of tablets. Marketing the "ultrabook" is simply a way to improve their margins. Intel profits regardless, they simply profit MORE if someone buys an ultrabook rather than a macbook air, since the airs use cheaper processors with Apple markup rather than expensive intel processors. There really is no losing in this situation since they have a clutch on the market.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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