Intel wants to make chips 'cool'

With the release of the Sandy Bridge line of second generation core processors Intel is attempting the tough task of getting the general public interested and aware of its chips.

When TechEye attended a press briefing for Sandy Bridge towards the end of last year the point was made that the new product range would attempt to push the Intel brand further into the public’s consciousness by simplifying the message put across to consumers.

A tough job, as the average customer purchasing the ubiquitous chip will have little knowledge of the ins and outs of how, for example, the i5 2500k and the i7 2600S actually compare.

One of the ways which Intel has attempted to change this is by simplifying the almost bewildering amount of products, such as focusing on the i5 as its ‘hero product’ in marketing parlance.

Indeed it is clear that Intel is intent on making significant changes to the way that it is perceived by the majority of the public and, dare we say it, lend some ‘coolness’ to what is essentially a tradionally unsexy company. 

While a firm like Apple may be the real crowd pleaser, with an exciting range of marquee products that are instantly recognisable by most of the planet, the problem with Intel’s product range is that they are basically the equivalent of the engine inside a flash car.

Nothing wrong with that of course, Intel is a successful brand with a great product range.  But now the firm is attempting the tough job of moving itself further into the spotlight, and it is partially through social media marketing that they plan to reach out to a new audience.

The man tasked with the difficult job of marketing Intel to a public with little knowledge and, to a certain extent, interest is Brian Elliott, CEO of Amsterdam Worldwide, the company in charge of Intel’s social media campaign.

Elliott explained the mammoth challenges involved. Talking to TechEye, he said:

”Historically it has been a challenge for Intel to appeal to the wider public,” he says, “however the things that the products actually do are genuinely interesting. As the average consumer may not be aware of much of the technical language it is certainly a challenge to get this message across considering that the products are so hidden in a physical sense.”

The firm has been doing this by focusing on reaching out to consumers through online media such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

“We have chosen the most popular sites on purpose to reach people, as it is the most effective method in the contest to bring consumers into this world,” Elliott said.

It is all part of a bid to raise awareness about the brand amongst a market that would not traditionally be affiliated with a company like Intel.  For example Intel has been busy, over the last couple of years, sponsoring nights at London’s trendy but overpriced indie hangout the Proud Gallery in Camden, not perhaps the most usual place to see the famous Intel logo.

“It is critically important for Intel to try to move into the consumer sphere and we are doing this with an idea-centric campaign that can easily be passed from friend to friend.  We want to show how the technology affects people’s lives in a fun and accessible manner by showing the ways that it can be applied in real life.

“For example The Sartorialist has been a fantastic success on YouTube, and this highlights the way Intel affects people, and not necessarily those with a background in technology.”

Amsterdam Worldwide had been representing Intel for around 18 months now in Europe before representing the firm across the world, with regards to the second gen Sandy Bridge core, and Elliott says that a close relationship has been formed with Intel’s own marketing department.

“We work intimately, around the same table,” he says. “We are very close and it is a terrific working relationship within which there is much collaboration, for example for events such as CES where we are under the pressure of deadlines.”