In what is likely its most ambitious and imaginative mobile advertising campaign yet, Intel is using a technology platform that doesn't actually have Intel inside - Apple's iAds - to demonstrate the micro-processing power and features consumers might expect to get only from devices that have its chips inside. The campaign, which is believed to be the first by any brand to utilize all of the iPhone's most visceral and tactile features - its gyroscope, accelerometer, and multi-touch interface - in a single iAd experience, promotes the latest version of Intel's Core processor, which currently is not used by Apple, or any other smartphone manufacturer.
The campaign, which is the brainchild of Intel Senior Digital/Social Strategist David Veneski, who felt it was the best way to demonstrate the features and power of Intel's processors, was created by Interpublic mobile shop Ansible based on a strategic plan developed by Omnicom's OMD unit. The iAd essentially adapts "The Chase," a wildly popular viral video and YouTube campaign that Intel created to demonstrate its most powerful features, but in an immersive, interactive, mobile platform - the iPhone - that would enables users to physically engage with it.
In one of the applications, users must shake their iPhones vigorously to trigger the device's accelerometer to speed the game up - an application Veneski says demonstrate the Turbo Boost technology behind Intel's chips. In another application, users must use the iPhone's multi-touch interface to interact with a rendering of an Intel chip while turning a key to open a door to gain access to another part of the game.
The campaign also leverages rich video and social media components that make it one of the most immersive iAds created to date, all used to demonstrate a product that isn't actually built into the system the iPhone users use to experience Intel's performance.
"We don't just advertise on devices that have an Intel processor in them," Veneski explains, adding, "We will choose the best advertising opportunity regardless of the technology that drives it."
As an example, Veneski cites an out-of-home media campaign that Ansible created for Intel, which was featured on outdoor media locations that also did not have Intel chips inside them. But they did have QR codes that activated a campaign encouraging mobile phone users to take photographs of Intel logos "in the wild" and share them with each other via social media.
"They were experiencing Intel in an environment and bringing it home to the device," Veneski says, adding that the goal of the mobile, out-of-home and social media campaigns isn't necessarily dependent on Intel's technology, so much as it is about reaching consumers with a message that demonstrates and evokes the power and utility of its chips.
Veneski says now is the right time for Intel to leverage iAds for several reasons, including the fact that the hype surrounding the Apple mobile ad platform has subsided.
"Truth be told, at $1 million the iAd was a little too rich for my blood, but when Apple lowered it to $500,000 it made it more sense," he acknowledges, adding that iAds are less about the gee whiz factor now and more about what users can experience that is unique to the mobile ad platform.
Veneski says Intel and its agencies are looking at expanding the concept to other smartphone platforms utilizing HTML5-based applications, but that for the moment, Apple's iAds are the best way to communicate and demonstrate his company's technology, even if it isn't actually inside.