Intel launches live chat banner campaign aimed at IT community

Intel launched a two-day online ad campaign on October 5, in which consumers can chat directly with the company’s experts via banner ads on targeted Web sites.

The effort targets IT decision makers and influencers. For two hours on both of the campaign’s days, October 5 and 6, Intel experts are available to answer questions via live chat within an expandable banner ad. The company also launched countdown banner ads an hour before the chat and promotional ads in the week before chat capabilities were enabled.

“We know these IT managers value direct dialogue with products and peers,” said Travis Hockersmith, global media manager at Intel. “They’re skeptical of marketing, so when we can connect technology folks with products people, we really get great reception from our target audience.”

The banners are running on 21 Web sites, including,, and The live chat on October 5 focused on Intel’s vPro technology, while the chat on October 6 will focus on its server technology.

Intel is working with agencies MRM Worldwide and OMD, as well as ad technology provider Eyeblaster‘s Talkback Ads format, to execute the campaign.

“There’s a shift happening in the ad market moving from traditional ‘pull strategy’ to a ‘push strategy,’” said Ross McNab, director of digital advertising solutions at Eyeblaster. “Generally you have to click through to a site to engage, but people are steering away from that into a push strategy.”

He added that whereas product information usually sits behind a click, now users can interact on the publisher’s page where the ad is running.

“This is incredibly important because click-through rates are continuously decreasing, and it’s harder to get people to click away from the publisher site where they’re comfortable,” McNab said.

Kelly Kernaghan, SVP and group account director at MRM, said this was also a way for the company to reach an audience that depends on peer advice.

“For these IT managers, trust comes from dialogue with peers,” he noted. “Technical pros like to speak with people who speak the same language. It gives them much more credibility.”

OMD was the media buying agency for the campaign.

Intel has worked with MRM for four years. This is the fourth campaign Intel and Eyeblaster have launched using in-chat banners in the US. The companies have also collaborated on similar initiatives in France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden.

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