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Rock Star Engineers Debut in Intel's New Advertising Campaign That Focuses on the Future

Intel Rockstar Ad

When Intel decided to retool its largest advertising push in years, the chipmaker wanted to make a familiar statement: "our products make everyday life possible." But Santa Clara-based advertising firm Venables Bell & Partners found this slogan a bit trite, according to a story by Stephanie Clifford in The New York Times.

Venables Bell discovered that virtually every technology company presents itself as necessary for the here-and-now. The new Intel campaign, launching Monday in the U.S., instead hinges on the notion that Intel makes the future possible. Taglined "Sponsors of Tomorrow," Venables Bell's multi-platform strategy casts Intel as a technology-focused innovator that celebrates technophile culture and highlights the company’s engineering achievements rather than the products derived from them.

Venables Bell found an interesting culture at Intel; rather than working on solutions to today's problems, most R&D was focused on projects two or three years away from hitting the market. This forward-thinking atmosphere, coupled with a reverence among engineers for the breakthroughs that came before them, spawned the "Sponsors of Tomorrow" theme.

In one television ad, a middle-aged man donning his company ID enters the break room to raucous fanfare and swooning reminiscent of a red carpet moment with the Beatles circa 1964. As the man winks to his admirers and signs autographs, the screen graphic reads "Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of U.S.B." followed by "Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars."

A related print ad juxtaposes a photo of an over-the-top rock band next to a duo of engineers in white lab coats. The copy: "Your rock stars aren't like our rock stars." Other print ads are less tongue-in-cheek and more message-driven. In an ad reading "Your clean room isn't like our clean room," a photo of a young girl seated in an immaculately kept pink bedroom is placed next to an image of an Intel lab worker in a clean room "bunny suit." The ad goes on to explain that Intel’s clean rooms are "10,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room."

"Sponsors of Tomorrow" is Intel's most expensive campaign since 2006 and will run in about 30 countries by the end of June. A home page takeover on The New York Times Web site will kick off the campaign Monday, followed by digital billboards in Times Square, Berlin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and elsewhere. The "Sponsors of Tomorrow" Web site goes live later today.

[A Tech Company’s Campaign to Burnish Its Brand via The New York Times]

Related: The Fast Company 50 - #6 Intel