AMD, Intel Launch New Campaigns

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices are each set to unveil new advertising this month, as both semiconductor giants stress their relevancy to consumers and businesses — amid one of their industry’s worst downturns in history.

Beginning Monday, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD will take the wraps off its largest-ever branding effort, which is designed to show how computers using AMD processors enhance business productivity and consumer quality of life.

Copy in the campaign’s print ads read: “Amaze me. Inspire me. Free me. AMD me.”

The fifteen-month campaign’s ads, which debut in the U.S. in Monday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal and next week’s issue of Business Week, were designed by McCann-Erickson Wordwide’s San Francisco office. Ads in global markets are set to debut next week.

“The ‘AMD me’ theme is intended to establish an empathetic, personal connection between AMD and those people around the world who are both interested in technology and considered technology influencers,” said Michael McLaren, executive vice president and director of client services at McCann-Erickson.

Spending on the ads is estimated at about $25 million.

Intel, likewise, is launching the latest salvo in its pitch to PC purchasers, with television spots that now extend the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker’s business-to-business campaign to consumers.

Similar to AMD’s effort, Intel’s “Yes” campaign, designed by Euro RSCG MVBMS New York, had been launched in June as a way to convey the notion that Intel isn’t simply making computer chips — but that it’s also bettering businesses in the process.

Expanding on that concept, the three new consumer-oriented television spots portray Intel’s efforts as directly improving the lives of home PC users.

Two ads show daily scenarios centered around on entertainment, productivity, communication and educational applications for home computers — for instance, children using the Web for research, a college student burning a CD, and a parent cooking while watching streaming video news. Each segment is prefaced by titles such as “Intel Inside your music”, “Intel Inside your homework” or “Intel Inside your movies.” The campaign’s third spot focuses solely on education.

Like the earlier print and online work, the new consumer-focused conclude with a question, such as, “Can a better computer really change your life?” and the answer, “Yes.”

“The ‘Yes’ campaign uses strong lifestyle scenarios to show how the versatile PC is woven into the fabric of people’s everyday lives,” said Pam Pollace, Intel vice president and director of the company’s Corporate Marketing Group. “The campaign has global appeal and it expresses the fun, productivity and sense of confidence that the Intel Inside brand brings to computing.”

While similar conceptually, the new ads do mark a slight about-face for Intel. Unlike the B2B work, which used “Yes. Intel.” as its tagline, the new ads again play up the company’s older “Intel Inside” motto, which remains highly recognizable to consumers.

Intel’s three-month TV campaign is slated to launch in the U.S. during the primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, and will appear in other markets during October. In addition to TV, the campaign also includes online advertising designed by Modem Media in San Francisco.

Spending on the effort is estimated in the tens of millions.

The new campaigns come as both Intel and AMD are hurting amid the chip manufacturing industry’s worst downturn, prompted in large part by the decline in PC sales.

Technological woes have compounded the problem. On Friday, AMD announced that its Athlon XP “Clawhammer” chip wouldn’t be ready by the end of the year, as had been planned.

Intel, meanwhile, is working to diversify its revenue stream away from the stagnant PC market. One area will be communications, where the company is looking to become a major player in Flash memory and chip sales.

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