Intel Lets Consumers ‘Test Drive’ Processors Online

What is the difference between Intel’s various Core processors? A new interactive site aims to answer that question and educate those looking to buy a computer.
The site, dubbed the “Intel Core Processor Experience,” initially went live in the U.S., and will extend to other major markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa throughout the month. It is part of the technology giant’s strategy to use new forms of emerging media, including digital, to make the computer buying process simpler for consumers.
The site consists of three functions: “Explore,” “Test Drive” and “Shop.” The “Explore” function introduces consumers to the different “smart performance” capabilities of each of Intel’s microprocessors: i3, i5, i7 and i7 Extreme. “Test Drive,” meanwhile, lets users further specify how they intend to use their computers.
The “Core Processor Experience” is designed to be easy-to-use and engaging to consumers, whether they’re tech savvy or not, Intel said. Publicis Groupe’s digital agency Razorfish created the site.
Johan Jervoe, vp of Intel’s sales and marketing group, said the effort taps into a top priority consumers have when shopping around. Excluding instances where a computer has been lost, broken or suffered water damage, “processing power and performance” are the no. 1 reasons why consumers seek a new computer, he said. Or as Jervoe, who has a background in packaged goods, put it: “If the computer is the tomato salad, we are the tomato.”
Intel is driving traffic to the new site via print, television, digital and in-store ads. San Francisco-based agency Venables Bell & Partners handled advertising duties on a global basis. The brand is also offering a mobile version of the site to smartphone users.
James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, said the site reflects a trend he’s seeing among technology companies. As product features become more sophisticated, marketers are turning to digital and interactive media to allow consumers to experience the products for themselves. In fact, McQuivey said, most tech consumers these days do their research online, often skipping the in-store research and browsing stage.
Per Kantar Media, Intel spent $57 million on advertising last year and $25 million through May of this year.