Hopefully, a shift in Intel's marketing strategy will put the Core 2 Duo dancers on hiatus later this year, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday.
After Intel realized its fortunes had begun to turn last year, the company immediately began a marketing blitz called "Multiply," based almost exclusively around the Core 2 Duo brand. It was an interesting--if not somewhat perplexing--departure from the platform branding strategy that previously governed Intel's marketing, but any baseball manager will tell you that you've got to go with the hot hand while it's hot. The Core 2 Duo's performance stacked up very nicely against Advanced Micro Devices' chips at the time, so Intel chose to exploit that angle.
Now Intel feels confident enough in the Core 2 Duo brand that it's planning to shift its marketing priorities back to Centrino in the second half of the year, Otellini told financial analysts during the company's second-quarter earnings conference call. Centrino is Intel's brand for a combination of notebook chips that includes a processor, a chipset, and a Wi-Fi chip. Notebooks are the most important segment of the PC market these days, as they are growing much faster than desktops and are generally more profitable, so Intel wants to make sure notebook shoppers remember Centrino this holiday season.
Such a push has a bonus effect of hitting AMD where it hurts the most. AMD has spent much more time over the past few years working on its server products, which served the company well. But its mobile Turion chip is basically a power-efficient version of its Opteron chip, and AMD doesn't plan to have a chip designed specifically for notebooks until next year.
The Centrino ads will be accompanied by a "an all-out mobile blitz" heading into 2008, an Intel representative said. But please, don't bring back the dancers.