Nvidia Nside?

The graphics chipmaker is reportedly gearing up for a widespread ad campaign designed to raise awareness of its brand, which isn't nearly as well known as the famous Intel Inside slogan.

Nvidia is reportedly planning to drop upwards of $40 million on advertising as it tries to make sure everybody knows its name.

Ad Age reported yesterday that Nvidia is searching for an ad agency to launch a major ad campaign targeting regular consumers, not just the hard-core PC gamers who bleed green and black. The company is supposedly thinking about an ad budget between $30 million to $40 million for its first attempt to reach a widespread audience. (Thanks, Valleywag.)

In the report, Nvidia denied it was in the middle of a formal search, but it's not hard to see the company embarking on this path sooner or later.

Intel dominates computer advertising like no other hardware company and was the fifth most recognized brand name in the world in 2006. And at some point in the future, the lines between PC processors and graphics processors are expected to blur, which means the two companies could be in direct competition. Right now, Intel only makes low-end graphics that aren't nearly as big a part of Nvidia's business as the discrete graphics cards it sells to PC makers, but Nvidia is not a household name.

Advanced Micro Devices, which makes both PC processors and graphics hardware, likewise doesn't do a whole lot of national or worldwide advertising, sticking to more focused ads in trade and gamer magazines. But AMD doesn't exactly have the cash to go launch a national campaign at the moment, freeing up room for Nvidia to make its mark.

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