Carey Debuts in Intel Spots

SAN FRANCISCO Intel will break a new television campaign starring Mariah Carey during tonight’s Grammy Awards presentation on CBS.

Two 30-second spots will air during the program. Carey makes her TV commercial debut in the ads from Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York.

In one spot, a man wearing headphones is working away on his laptop when Carey appears. “Making a playlist for your girl?” she purrs. “Yeah, my, uh, our favorite songs,” he meekly replies. “Like this one?” Carey launches into song. The voiceover says: “With the new Centrino Duo, your digital entertainment really comes to life.”

In the waning days of 2005, Intel said “Leap ahead” would replace the 15-year-old “Intel inside” slogan on much of its advertising, though that phrase would likely continue to grace manufacturers’ stickers on actual PCs that incorporate the company’s technology [Adweek Online, Dec. 30]. The ads with Carey are the first Intel spots in that rebranding effort.

The new work continues the “Entertainment in your lap” theme Intel started in September 2005 featuring celebrities like Tony Hawk, John Cleese, Lucy Liu and Seal. TV, print and outdoor were part of the campaign.

“Our first ‘Laps’ campaign for the Intel Centrino was really successful; we have strong attention and recall and consumers got the message on how powerful mobile technology enables entertainment on the go,” said Sean Connolly, client integrated marketing manager. “We are building on this success . . . and bringing in more celebrities that people are excited to see. Mariah Carey has a lot going for her, her latest album is selling really well, she got eight nominations on the Grammys. She has the perfect profile to demonstrate to consumers how they can enjoy her music anyway, anytime, without the wires.”

Intel said it would make the Carey spots available on its Web site and is looking into other Internet integration as well.

The company said it has a number of other spots that would air “in the next couple of months.” It declined to identify which celebrities are part of the campaign, but did say that print, outdoor and online would accompany the TV ads.

IPG’s McCann WorldGroup, led by McCann Erickson and Universal McCann, serve as Intel’s lead creative and media agencies, having added the estimated $300 million global business following a review last March. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company spends about $120 million annually in U.S. measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.