Intel exercises its creative muscles for debut of latest Core processors

Intel and Ogilvy PR, its lead consumer PR agency in the US, came up with "Exercise Your Core," deploying tactics new to Intel, including a celebrity spokesperson.

Client: Intel (Santa Clara, CA)
PR agency: Ogilvy PR (Denver)
Campaign: Exercise Your Core
Duration: December 2009-January 2010
Budget: Under $200,000

In launching Intel's new family of Core processors at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, Bill Kircos, director of product and tech media relations for Intel, knew "the challenge was breaking through at a show where everyone has a big launch."

Intel and Ogilvy PR, its lead consumer PR agency in the US, came up with "Exercise Your Core," deploying tactics new to Intel, including a celebrity spokesperson.

Strategy
The PR team created buzz with street teams, a partnership with soccer star Mia Hamm, and social network Foursquare. Target groups included influencers such as reporters, opinion-makers such as bloggers, and the overall social media community.

Tactics
After a trade-media preview in December, the launch was held at 7:30am on January 7, with 150-plus guests in attendance.

Hamm demonstrated features of the new processors by working out on an Intel-equipped fitness machine, while on Foursquare, users unlocked "Insider" badges for a chance to win an Intel-powered netbook, says Dan La Russo, SVP at Ogilvy.

Results
Intel had never held a product launch event so early - or with a celebrity spokesperson. Kircos credits both strategies for helping generate 489 news articles about the company.

Foursquare generated 455 check-ins. Sales of the processors in the first quarter also surpassed company expectations.

"Mainstream ads didn't start until March," Kircos says. "Only the sales and PR teams were engaged in selling the chips."

Future
The campaign will help inform future launches. Kircos says, "We took a lot of risks with this campaign - from hiring a celebrity to the early start - and showed that it could work."

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