Ask anyone what DreamWorks animation, prosthetic hands and the Space Shuttle program have in common, and you'd probably get a blank stare. At least until today, when Intel's latest branding campaign debuts at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. (See the video at the bottom of this story.)
Titled "Experience Amazing," the new campaign—slated for both the Web and TV—is an ambitious step for the 48-year-old silicon giant. It will attempt to show consumers a side of the brand they're not familiar with—specifically, how its technologies don't just hide in motherboards, but power the worlds of art, design, gaming, music and even space exploration. These applications are nothing new to Intel; what's new is Intel's decision to talk about how its systems translate to daily life.
"We've created experiences for decades," Intel vp, global creative director Teresa Herd told Adweek, "but nobody knows that—we've never talked about it."
Produced by mcgarrybowen, the 60-second spot (which also has a 30-second version) is a battery of quick cuts that portray everything from dancer Paige Fraser using Intel's RealSense to digitally enhance her performances to Nobumichi Assai's revolutionary facial projection mapping, enabled by Intel's Core i7 processor.
"We did almost a year of research, looking within the U.S. and around the world to find the most incredible things that the most innovative people were doing with Intel technology," said mcgarrybowen executive creative director Marianne Besch, lead on the Intel account. "Our biggest challenge was to narrow them down as there truly were hundreds of stories we could have told."
Uniting the succession of clips is a backing track of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and a new slogan: "Intel Inside makes amazing experiences outside."
The first portion of that phrase is already familiar to anyone who owns a PC. "Intel Inside" debuted in 1991 when Intel took the unusual step of branding a microprocessor chip. It wasn't the sort of thing most consumers cared about—until they understood that Intel's 486 chips would make their computers run faster. The campaign, updated for the Pentium 586 chip in 1994, was enormously successful. Intel revenues jumped 50 percent between 1992 and 1994, to $8.8 billion.
The "Intel Inside" campaign was so effective that in recent years, people have come to think of Intel solely as a component in their computers. The new campaign tries to go beyond that.
"Everybody knows there's Intel inside, but nobody knew all the amazing places we're in, and the experiences we've enabled," Herd said, adding that younger consumers had grown especially "complacent" about the brand. "We talked to a ton of millennials, and maybe they'd heard of Intel. But if they had, they had no idea what we did and what our value was."
Intel hopes they'll get a better idea now. A new Web hub will allow visitors to interact with the commercial spot and learn more about the individual technologies behind all of the feats on display, including a solar-powered car, a Space Shuttle launch and a clip from DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon.
New messaging aside, the spot also incorporates a number of familiar brand cues. The oval that encircles the Intel name makes strategic appearances, as does Intel's five-note mnemonic tune—the "bongs," as they are known—which mcgarrybowen actually fit into the Fifth Symphony.
"On this project, we started with the score and worked carefully to determine where the Intel bongs would hit," Besch said. "Every time you see the Intel swirl and hear the 'bong,' you witness an experience that Intel has powered. The spot becomes an Intel experience unto itself."