Intel signed on Michael Phelps for its latest integrated marketing campaign, along with Jim Parsons, known as Sheldon Cooper on the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," to showcase better experiences found on new Intel-powered PCs.
The first spot -- “Faster Processing," which debuts next week on TV -- features Parsons watching Phelps use an old, slow computer. He's watching real-life Olympic footage, which actually became fodder for the spot after Intel CMO Steve Fund spotted a real-life photo of Phelps hunched over on an old PC re-watching swimming footage before one of his races in Rio.
In the ad, a frustrated Phelps watching a video of himself swimming, says "faster, faster, faster," as the computer refuses to maintain speed to process the images.
Parsons tells Phelps "here is the world's fastest swimmer on the world's slowest computer." Parsons tries to convince Phelps to upgrade to an Intel-powered PC for a faster experience.
"Intel’s brand promise is to make amazing experiences possible,” Fund said in a prepared statement. “These new ads featuring Michael Phelps draw a parallel between the newest lightning-fast Intel-powered PCs and one of the world’s fastest swimmers.”
Another ad, Phelps Face, was influenced by Phelps' scowling reaction to a rival swimmer's pre-race shadowboxing routine. The scowl, now resurfacing in a new spot, also features Phelps and Parsons. Both spots are searchable on YouTube.