Intel ‘Multiplies’ for Core 2 Duo

NEW YORK Intel is preparing to launch the first campaign for its Core 2 Duo processor with its biggest media outlay since 2003, according to a company executive.

Themed “Multiply,” the work breaks on Sept. 25. As a subset of the company’s overall marketing strategy, the campaign will also support the music of some recording artists previously known only in their local markets, said Nancy Bhagat, vp, group director of integrated marketing at Intel.

She would not comment on spending for the yearlong campaign, the first leg of which will run through December, but she compared it to the Santa Clara, Calif., client’s 2003 spend. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Intel spent $135 million in U.S. media alone that year. Spending was down to $110 million in 2004 and $80 million in 2005. Intel spent $35 million in media in the first half of this year.

McCann Erickson, Momentum and MRM, all part of Interpublic Group’s McCann Worldgroup, contributed components of the Core 2 Duo advertising, events and digital effort. IPG’s Universal McCann devised the media strategy, planning and buying. WPP Group’s Burson Marsteller is handling public relations.

The campaign will roll out in various countries starting in October. The new product is designed to run on desktops, mobile devices and servers, giving users and business systems greater power for multitasking and improved response speeds, hence the line “Multiply.”

The first of three TV spots was directed by Vaughn Arnell and features the song “Mr. Dabada” by Carlos Jean. The ad shows a male dancer in jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt moving to the techno-pop beat. The dancer’s image ultimately multiplies by three. “Multiply your intensity,” the onscreen copy reads. “Multiply your computing power. Multiply your possibilities.” The camera pans to a female dancer, and the same multiplication occurs.

McCann sold the campaign through in June, even as Intel was preparing to meet other shops about the Core 2 Duo processor, sources said [Adweek, July 13]. Those meetings were cancelled shortly after Intel bought McCann’s work, sources said. In July, Eric Kim, who had been Intel’s general manager for sales and marketing and who awarded McCann the account last year, became general manager of Intel’s digital home group. Sean Maloney was then named evp of sales and marketing and works closely with McCann on developing the advertising and marketing.

“Creatively, this is a huge leap forward for Intel in having an emotional communication through an experience-oriented message,” Bhagat said, adding that the effort emphasizes, “Intel’s leadership is in understanding the power of multi-core technology.”

Other elements of the campaign will be demonstrations of the product at the retail level. Because online “gamers” are such an influential consumer target, they were used for a competition at Intel on two different computers, Bhagat said. One gamer’s computer had the Core 2 Duo processor and the other did not, to show the difference in speed and response to the task at hand.

Retailers can demonstrate the product in various ways on-site, and Intel will have a presence at events such as gaming shows to reach “the enthusiast community,” she said. According to Bhagat, the process increases a computer’s performance and power by about 40 percent and allows users to “run more multiple applications and download video and music files faster. There are multiple real experience user benefits.”

Two other spots will break later in the season that will incorporate other product platform messages.

An additional part of the campaign, developed by the McCann Worldgroup team, includes the promotion of three music artists who have followings only in their countries: the U.K.’s New Young Pony Club, the Teddybears (Sweden) and Carlos Jean (Spain). McCann became lead global agency for Intel after a review in March 2005.

“We’re using these artists and will introduce them in venues they haven’t been known in before,” Bhagat said. “These groups were selected for their ability to connect with their local audiences.” The client believes the groups and their music will position Intel as leading edge. “We’re not just about technology for technology’s sake but about technology that will enhance the computing experience broadly,” she said.