Intel “Yes” Effort Pitches Itanium 2

Aiming to leverage the momentum behind its new big-budget branding campaign, Intel is pitching the Itanium 2 processor as another milestone in computing.

In June, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel launched a new advertising effort that touted the company as a thought-leader and pioneer in computer technical development, with the tagline “Yes. Intel.” appearing in lieu of the more narrowly-focused “Intel Inside.”

The campaign, Intel’s largest ever, sought also to draw the connection between Intel’s vast research efforts — which led to the development of technologies like PCI, USB and DRAM — and bottom-line business productivity improvements.

Now, the “Yes” effort — designed by Havas’ Euro RSCG MVBMS and for which spending reached the double-digit millions — will extend to the closely-watched launch of its new enterprise processor, a product it hopes will boost its high-end business server market presence after slow sales of the original Itanium last year.

A new print execution in the “Yes” lineup identifies more than seventy software, operating system and hardware vendors that are developing technology to take advantage of the Itanium 2 — which, the ad suggests, means good thing for enterprise customers willing to trade up.

“Are you ready?” reads the ad. “The world’s leading technology companies are united in their support for the Intel Itanium 2 processor, and are developing a range of enterprise solutions for your business. High-performance technology for the most data-intensive, business-critical applications. Get ready to evaluate and deploy. The Intel Itanium processor family. The next enterprise architecture.”

Company logos featured include that of Microsoft , SAP, Oracle , and IBM .

In addition to the print work, Intel plans to highlight the Itanium 2 in online executions, the company’s sites for developers and enterprise customers, and at events.

The tactic comes as Intel faces an upward fight to promote the processor, coming as it does amid a protracted slowdown in IT spending. Though servers based on the chip might undercut pricing on rival offerings from companies like Sun it’s unclear whether enterprise customers will see a need to upgrade to servers using the new processors — which often entails spending time, money and effort to install, and also involves procuring applications optimized for the new system.

For Intel, the new campaign’s message of widespread industry support is critical as many of the top high-end servers rely on applications designed to run on the proprietary processors built by IBM, Sun and others.

Additionally, by bundling the product’s positioning into Intel’s larger corporate message of computer technical heritage, the chipmaking giant is looking to paint adoption of the Itanium 2 as not just a useful upgrade, but, in some ways, as another milestone in computing history.

“The ‘Yes’ campaign talks not just about the products, but also the underlying Intel value proposition,” said Jane Price, head of the company’s business marketing unit. “That’s the foundation for the new campaign. It’s a separate ad within the whole campaign, focused on industry support for the new processor, wrapped in the overall business campaign that spans all our product lines.”

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