Intel Touts Pentium 4 Online

Applying what it learned from an online effort conducted this past fall for its Pentium III processor, Intel, Santa Clara, CA, is set to begin the online portion of its worldwide marketing effort for the new Pentium 4 processor this Wednesday. The online campaign is running in conjunction with national TV spots, both featuring the theatre troupe Blue Man Group.

The interactive online campaign, which was developed by Modem Media Poppe Tyson, San Francisco, will make up nearly 10 percent of the four-month, $300 million worldwide marketing campaign that broke on Feb. 19 with three TV spots. This first major push for the Pentium 4, which was released in November, will carry the tag line “The Pentium 4 processor. The center of your digital world.”

Intel has designed and placed ads based on information learned in the previous campaign, such as at which sites visitors were most likely to click on Intel's ads and eventually make purchases, as well as what it should and should not include in those ads. The previous campaign also featured the Blue Man Group.

In the fall Intel placed ads on technology, music and entertainment-focused sites. The entertainment sites had the higher click-through rate but lower page views, according to Shawn Conly, director of consumer Internet marketing at Intel. Consumers coming from technology sites not only spent more time on Intel's Web site but also were more aware of what they wanted and made more purchases.

For the Pentium 4 campaign, Intel is still focusing on technology, music and entertainment sites and will place ads on roughly the same number of sites as in the Pentium III campaign. But this time it will invest more money in the technology-oriented sites by placing a larger number of “sophisticated” ads on them.

Among the sites where the ads will appear are MSN, Shockwave, Real, Sony, CNN, Lycos, MTV and the WB.

“The simpler the hook, the better the response rate,” Conly said. “If you let the ad entertain people without burdening them with a lot of information, they will be more likely to respond. The call-to-action must have a bigger payoff for consumers as well, and you have to be clear and upfront with them about what they get for responding. You can't hide their reward on a second page. They have to be told right away what it is.”

Conly said the company's online initiatives usually see a response rate averaging 25 percent to 100 percent better than the industry average. For Pentium III, the response rate was 100 percent to 150 percent better than the industry average, according to Intel.

Its decision to use the Blue Man Group again was based not only on the success of the previous campaign, but also on what Conly described as “good synergy” between the group and Intel.

The online initiative will use a mix of banner ads, Flash animation, Superstitials and page takeovers. Conly said this online campaign is Intel's most sophisticated and richest to date regarding the quality and technology of the ads.

The online campaign will target a younger audience than the TV spots did and will highlight specific usage models of the Pentium 4 processor, such as digital music, digital video and 3-D gaming. Intel believes the younger audience is more interested than the older demographic in learning about the specifics of the Pentium 4.

This time Intel is using more “real estate” and is giving consumers the ability to interact with the Blue Man Group in order to experience the capabilities of the usage models. After clicking on one of the ads, they will be taken to a page where they can create music, play a 3-D game or edit video with the group.

After the interaction the consumer can further investigate his area of interest by clicking on a usage model icon. That page will provide the consumer with detailed information on what the Pentium 4's capabilities and benefits are in that area.

Intel will also use the page to tout other Intel-branded products related to the usage model, such as its Pocket Concert Audio Player.

While more money is being spent this time on the online initiative, Conly said the overall budget is higher than for the fall campaign, so the percentage spent on the online initiative is equal to the percentage spent online for the fall campaign.

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