Multiply is in. But will Viiv do fractions?

Intel's new marketing slogan: Multiply! Chipmaker to release a big ad campaign to promote dual-core processors.

Michael Kanellos
Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
2 min read
Intel will go forth and multiply.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant will unleash a multimillion-dollar ad campaign called Multiply, which is designed to promote dual-core processors and their capabilities.

Print ads will begin this week while radio, TV and a redesign of company Web sites will follow soon after. As part of the campaign, the company has licensed songs from relatively unknown bands, such as the New Young Pony Club and Carlos Jean, said Nancy Bhagat, vice president of integrated marketing at Intel.

Bhagat declined to state the budget for the Multiply campaign but said the company planned to spend millions on Multiply ads and marketing to promote dual-core processors.

"This is the most impactful effort since the launch of Centrino," she said. "We're investing hundreds of millions of dollars."

The campaign will initially be focused on consumer PCs, but be expanded to business PCs in January, she said.

Intel has actively promoted the PC as a device for organizing movies, video, music and pictures for several years. It unfurled a thin PC, called the EPC, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2004. The first EPCs didn't sell well, but Intel revamped the concept with Viiv PCs in 2006.

The company has also worked more actively with content producers to more directly link PCs to entertainment devices. Yahoo and Intel, for instance, last week announced a deal that will let couch potatoes watch NFL games and follow their Yahoo fantasy football league at the same time so consumers won't have to switch between looking at the TV and their notebook computer.

Similarly, AOL will announce a deal in the relatively near future that will allow Viiv owners to watch some AOL video, ordinarily viewable on PCs only, on their flat-screen TVs, too.

The Multiply campaign does not replace the Leap Ahead tag line that came out at the end of last year. The Leap Ahead slogan will appear with the Intel logo in almost all advertising. Multiply is the theme of the current ad campaign, which should last around a year.

"Multiply becomes a metaphor for our technology vision," she explained. "Leap Ahead is more of a mantra of Intel's vision."

The word multiply could send shivers down the spines of some of the old-timers at the company. The massive recall of the first generation of Pentium chips occurred because in rare circumstances the chips didn't multiply numbers correctly.