Intel Kicks Off New Unwire Campaign

When the Centrino Mobile brand for laptops — those with a Pentium-M chip coupled with embedded Wi-Fi for connectivity — shipped in March of 2003, Intel kicked it off with a multi-million dollar advertising blitz meant to get the word out that wireless had arrived.

Now comes part two. Sean Connolly, Intel’s world wide advertising manager, says that a portion of the company’s Autumn campaign is already in gear as Intel pushes One Unwired Day, its initiative to provide free Wi-Fi Internet access as at many hotspots as will participate. That event takes place this Thursday, September 25, and will feature concerts and festivals in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Intel is already heavily promoting the day on Web sites (like as well as in publications like USA Today.

“We’re pretty happy and excited about some of the online work we’re doing around the launch, with some unique creative [ads, using] the unique Centrino Mobile logo to bring personality and meaning to that brand,” says Connolly.

Once One Unwired Day has passed, however, it will be time to get back to pushing the Centrino brand directly to the masses. Connolly says the continued “Unwire” campaign will focus on the build-out of wireless and its benefits to users. Television ads, for example, will feature “Unwired Moments” showing people using wireless laptops in airports, homes, “and one with a gentleman who goes from his office to Bryant Park in New York, which is actually a hotspot. In each situation, we’ve tried to tap into the universal benefits of what wireless can provide.”

He says the biggest shift in their advertising is recognizing the crossover between professional use and personal use of Wi-Fi networks. Most people use their laptop everywhere in their lives, and Intel plans to recognize that in the ads. Television, radio and billboard ads will kick off on September 29, in 11 countries.

Intel is also working on “unique media opportunities” to let people know more about Centrino and wireless. The first is the announced Zagat Survey mini-guide of 2003 Wi-Fi Hotspots, a listing of 50 recommended hotels and restaurants in five cities that also have hotspots. That’s appearing in this month’s issue of The New Yorker and Intel has a PDF version of the guide online. The company is also sponsoring and collaborated with editors on a “Guide to the Unwired World” in the upcoming issue of PC Magazine. Other resources for “how to unwire” will be found online.

All the new advertising will feature heavy integration of the blue and magenta Centrino logo. Tag lines will vary, including “No excess baggage” and “Travel at the speed of really light.” The campaign was created by Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners of New York.

Intel says there are currently 92 models of notebook available with Centrino; they expect there to be 130 by the end of this year.

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