With LifeScoop, Intel’s a Publisher

In a venture that further blurs the lines between editorial and advertising, Intel has launched a Web site called LifeScoop that’s meant to appeal to readers who are interested in tech, but aren’t hard-core geeks.

The site, which Intel created in conjunction with Federated Media, went live last week with features like “Digital ways to declutter your life” and “Five small camera bags for the casual photographer.” The site is being promoted with banner ads across Federated’s network. In addition, blogs in the network will also link and tweet URLs from the site.  “It’s a media buy,” said David Veneski, senior digital marketing and media buyer at Intel, “but we’re working with Federated to incorporate their publishing network to drive traffic.”

The site itself contains a “Powered by Intel” logo in the right-hand corner, which could be confused with an ad on an independent site.  A banner across the top of the page explains LifeScoop’s mission including “taking everyday tasks and making them better, faster and smarter” and then adds a mention of Intel Inside. Content is drawn from aggregation and from Intel’s own bloggers.

The idea, said Veneski, is to draw consumers who are “not the uber-geek,” but yet are somewhat interested in tech. Via content on the site, Intel hopes to connect to those users’ passion points and instill a connection to the brand, he said.

Intel’s not the only company to try this approach. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Center is loaded with articles about pregnancy and parenting and makes only sparse mention of its owner. Likewise, IBM has a Tumblr site promoting its Smarter Planet marketing initiative, and Urban Outfitters’ Web site is a blog that aggregates various information its followers might find interesting.

“If you’re on the Internet and I can’t see what you’re reading and what you’re sharing, I don’t know who you are,” said Mike Arauz, a strategist at Undercurrent, New York. “The same is true for brands.”