Intel Corporation is the world's largest semiconductor chip maker and its processors power 80% of the world's PCs. It has also become one of the world's most recognizable computer brands due to its long-running “Intel Inside” campaign, which started in 1991. Originally known primarily to engineers and technologists, "Intel Inside" made the company and its Pentium processor, found in personal computers, household names. The five-note jingle introduced in 1992 was indelibly associated with Intel quality and could be heard in 130 countries by its tenth anniversary.
Today, Intel, named for Integrated Electronics, also makes motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphic chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.
Laurie Kasper is Intel’s Global Media Manager, and she has been on hand at the tech giant to see the evolution of Intel’s development and broad consumer popularity. She discusses her role as brand champion in a company that is continually innovating in the microprocessor space. “Fifteen years of marketing at Intel has provided me with many perspectives of what can be expected from a brand champion. My co-workers know that I’m continually an advocate for our brand, guarding the brand against negativity, and demonstrating my belief in the brand. This hasn’t been complex for me, because personally I’m my own best advocate. Just as I invest in myself, I invest in the Intel brand. Every day as I evaluate marketing objectives and strategies I continually think of how to give consumers, colleagues, and clients a brand they can believe in.”
The “Intel Inside” advertising campaign is also well-known for its comprehensive partner or coop advertising program that extended both brand loyalty and awareness. In 2008, Intel dramatically shifted its media expenditure from television and print to online advertising, and was one of the first companies to mandate a minimum of 35% of advertising funds be devoted to Internet advertising.
So what’s next?
Intel’s focus for 2012 is to drive awareness and demand for ultrabooks, an Intel trademarked name that describes a higher-end type of subnotebook personal computer with reduced size and weight, but with long battery life and strong performance. (They use Intel CULV processors.)
The company is planning to launch a significant global campaign in April, expected to surpass its 2003 efforts to promote its Centrino technology for wireless connectivity in laptops. (Intel spent about $300 million on that campaign.) Called "A New Era in Computing," the campaign will include TV and print, along with significant emphasis on social media.
The marketing effort is in addition to the $300 million its venture capital arm, Intel Capital, has committed to invest in companies working on products and services that will help expand the ultrabook market. Intel also announced a partnership at CES with voice-technology firm Nuance. It expects ultrabooks that respond to voice commands to be launched later this year. Laptops that respond to hand gestures are also expected soon.
Laurie Kasper will certainly have her hands full.