Wednesday, April 4th 2012

Intel Ushers in 'A New Era of Computing' with Ultrabook Campaign

Intel Corporation's biggest marketing campaign in nearly a decade kicks off this week with television commercials, online experiences and print ads that the company is hailing as "cinematic and epic."

The multi-faceted global campaign, called "A New Era of Computing," is aimed at marketing the Ultrabook experience in exciting and innovative ways to consumers. Valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, the campaign is the largest marketing spend for the company since launching Intel Centrino in 2003.


"῾A New Era of Computing' is going to be very different from what you've seen from Intel in a long time," said Kevin Sellers, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and director, Advertising and Digital Marketing. "This is not a campaign where we're talking about the microprocessor or Intel the company. Instead, we're giving a cinematic and epic feel to how Intel-inspired Ultrabook systems are ushering in a new era of computing and making everything else seem like ancient history."

Sellers was referring to the initial TV spots set in the American Old West, ancient China and medieval times that humorously position PCs as old-fashioned and Ultrabooks being, as the campaign theme suggests, "a new era of computing." The spots were directed by Daniel Kleinman, a British TV commercial and music video director who also helmed the title sequence for several James Bond movies.

"Desperado" debuts on American television on April 6 after a world premiere through paid promotion on Twitter -- a U.S. first, according to the online social networking service - two days earlier at twitter.com/intel. A spin on the classic spaghetti western, "Desperado" takes place in a saloon where late-19th century gunslingers frustrated by the lack of performance of their clunky notebooks feel threatened by this 21st century, Ultrabook-brandishing new kid in town. The spot highlights the responsiveness and quickness of the Ultrabook.

"House of Flying Laptops," highlighting Ultrabooks' extended battery life and a nod to such stylish martial arts films as "House of Flying Daggers" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," begins in an ancient Chinese temple during the Ming Dynasty. Two traditionally dressed women, each wielding a bulky, power-hungry laptop, engage in an epic battle over a single available power outlet. Their attention quickly turns to a modern woman sitting at a nearby table and working on her Ultrabook.

Set inside a medieval European castle and underscoring Ultrabooks' small form factor and high performance, "Round Table" shows a team of less-than-enthused knights subjected to a slide presentation by their king who is using an outmoded computer that can't keep up. Relief comes to the frustrated monarch when a woman suddenly enters the room with a "mystical device" - an Ultrabook.

Each ad ends with a metaphoric twist as the original ancient setting transforms to a modern-day one. A voiceover at the end says, "Suddenly, everything else seems old-fashioned. Ultrabook. Inspired by Intel."

Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco created the campaign. The agency was also responsible for Intel's successful and ongoing "Sponsors of Tomorrow" brand campaign that launched in 2009. OMD led global media planning of a campaign that includes TV, print, outdoor, online and other advertisement placements, as well as in-store and online retail campaigns.

While the debuts of the initial three commercials will be staggered through May in the United States and abroad, a unique online experience will allow consumers to interact with the spots starting in mid-April. Visitors to intel.com/ultrabook can create their own adventures through a series of decisions while becoming educated on Ultrabook's product features along the way. Interlude, an Israeli-based technology company delivering unique interactive video experiences, created this campaign element that is scheduled to launch in the United States on April 13 and in 50 countries across 26 languages by the end of April.

"We're expanding the stories of the commercials, making them more personalized, fun and sharable," Sellers said. "Nothing like this has been done on such an epic scale. We shot scenes for the interactive experience as we were making the commercials in Spain and China to ensure that what you see on TV and online will be beautifully interwoven."

The interactive element also will expose the creative to countries outside where the TV spots will run, a working list that currently includes Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Print ads that debut on April 23 in initial markets poke fun at how futuristic the Ultrabook is. One line reads, "Your great-grandkids just called. They want their computer back." Another reads, "So futuristic it'll even feel futuristic in the future." Out-of-home billboards that debut on April 23 also use humor to illustrate the speed and lightweight nature of the Ultrabook with such copy as "Mastodons. Dodos. Bulky laptops." Retail campaigns encompass a range of executions, from merchandising materials and in-store demos to online ads and training for retail salespeople.
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21 Comments on Intel Ushers in 'A New Era of Computing' with Ultrabook Campaign

#1
Sasqui
So... in so many words, they are trying to market a Macbook Air for Windows users?

I get a kick out of the two cowboys working on what look like cinder-blocks :laugh:
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#2
Dos101
Pretty much. The Macbook Air is a great laptop (IMO), my only complaint is no RJ-45 connector, and it only has 2 USB ports. Other than that I think it's fantastic! Hopefully this ad campaign challenges PC manufacturers to put out better and better ultrabooks.
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#3
avatar_raq
I guess this is intel's move to combat the popularity of tablets
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#4
Jizzler
Meh. Call me when this "era" is over.
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#5
MeanBruce
This is such great news! Intel is getting the word out; the ultrabooks should be just amazing for business travel and extremely extended battery life due to Ivy's ultra-low power consumption. Windows 8 Release Candidate will be available this summer just in time for the new touchscreens, can't wait to pick one up and trump all my macbook loving buds!:D
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#6
R_1
Copycats! Even the name "Ultarbook" copies from MacBook. Not to mention that they ask higher price for inferior product , software and hardware wise. :roll:
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#7
phanbuey
They left out the magnetic power adapter out of the specs... that is like one of the coolest features of apple. Seems like PC's get about 80% there to making a perfect copy and then stop for no reason.

Once every 6 months i run into a situation where i accidentally have my cord kicked out from the computer... either by me, the gf, one of the idiot cats we have, or at a meeting at a client's site, and think "thank god its magnetic and just disengages with no fuss." One time it happened while surrounded by coffee on a small table, and would have been a dead computer.

Plus the ultrabooks are so light, you kick that power cord and that sucker will fly.
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#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Dos101
Pretty much. The Macbook Air is a great laptop (IMO), my only complaint is no RJ-45 connector, and it only has 2 USB ports. Other than that I think it's fantastic! Hopefully this ad campaign challenges PC manufacturers to put out better and better ultrabooks.
Most ultrabooks don't have an RJ-45 connector either, but at least most of them come with the adapter unlike the Macbook Air.

by: phanbuey
They left out the magnetic power adapter out of the specs... that is like one of the coolest features of apple. Seems like PC's get about 80% there to making a perfect copy and then stop for no reason.
I think the reason is that Apple has a patent on that technology, so PC's can't use it.
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#9
Fourstaff
New era of transportable x86 hardware indeed! Ultrabooks are here to stay, I don't see a good reason to phase them out. Once volumes goes up, the only way for the prices to go is down.
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#10
Dos101
by: newtekie1
Most ultrabooks don't have an RJ-45 connector either, but at least most of them come with the adapter unlike the Macbook Air.
Oh really? That's a shame :( I guess it's just too thick to put in an ultrabook?

I had no idea most of them came with an adapter either, good to know. Had to buy one for my MBA and it's only 10/100, so copying large files over my network is kinda slow.
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#11
ensabrenoir
.......hmmmm haters gonna hate....and red people gonna tun green with envy.....after they wake up.....a generation or two late as usual.
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#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Dos101
Oh really? That's a shame :( I guess it's just too thick to put in an ultrabook?

I had no idea most of them came with an adapter either, good to know. Had to buy one for my MBA and it's only 10/100, so copying large files over my network is kinda slow.
Yeah, I think physically it is just to big to fit on a proper ultrabook. And yeah, the adapters are almost always 10/100 since they are USB2.0 based, so Gigabit would be a waste. We'd need USB3.0 adapters to really take advantage of anything over 100Mb/s, and I don't think USB3.0 network adapters even exist yet...
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#13
aayman_farzand
The ethernet port isn't a big deal and not having one goes alongside the philosophy of UBs and Airs, ie, portability and not being tied down anywhere.

I used to hate Airs simply because of its pricetag but the 2011 models changed everything. Bought one and so far I STILL haven't found a viable alternative for it.
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#14
theoneandonlymrk
by: R_1
Copycats! Even the name "Ultarbook" copies from MacBook.
an Ultarbook sounds like some kind of religious novel, roll on the ultras ,they dont look even slightly easy enough for me to fix my cousins etc so i can point em all to their respective reciept/shop
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#15
NC37
Leave it to cowboys without "lurnin," to buy stripped machines in a compact box. I can't wait for the next wave of general users to hit the net raving about how they can't run anything on their "Ultra"book. Prolly another year or two. Usually how it goes. People buy the new "in" thing and then it takes about that long for them to realize their usage has changed. Expensive paperweight in the end.
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#16
Fourstaff
by: NC37
Leave it to cowboys without "lurnin," to buy stripped machines in a compact box. I can't wait for the next wave of general users to hit the net raving about how they can't run anything on their "Ultra"book. Prolly another year or two. Usually how it goes. People buy the new "in" thing and then it takes about that long for them to realize their usage has changed. Expensive paperweight in the end.
Having extensively played with an ultrabook and a MBA 11" I find myself wanting one instead of a "normal" laptop. Sure, I cannot run some modern games, but I can live with the trade off. Some of the more hardcore gamers who need gaming on the move might scorn at them, but at the rate the on die graphics card are improving, it will be no time before I can play my Call of Duty 10 and Battlefield 7 on an ultrabook.
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#17
coldtortilla
by: Fourstaff
Having extensively played with an ultrabook and a MBA 11" I find myself wanting one instead of a "normal" laptop. Sure, I cannot run some modern games, but I can live with the trade off. Some of the more hardcore gamers who need gaming on the move might scorn at them, but at the rate the on die graphics card are improving, it will be no time before I can play my Call of Duty 10 and Battlefield 7 on an ultrabook.
Have you tried any of the sony S series laptops, they are pretty thin and depending on the model you can get pretty decent graphics power. Paying ~$1000 for intel's integrated graphics feels like a total rip off to me.
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#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: aayman_farzand
I used to hate Airs simply because of its pricetag but the 2011 models changed everything. Bought one and so far I STILL haven't found a viable alternative for it.
The Asus Zenbook is spec wise almost identical to the 13" Air, and about $400 cheaper... And when I say "almost identical" I mean the Zen book has a higher resolution screen.

And the 11.6" Zenbook is $50 more expensive than the 11.6" Air but the Zenbook has a faster processor than the Air, and comes with accessories that would cost about another $100 with the Air.

by: NC37
Leave it to cowboys without "lurnin," to buy stripped machines in a compact box. I can't wait for the next wave of general users to hit the net raving about how they can't run anything on their "Ultra"book. Prolly another year or two. Usually how it goes. People buy the new "in" thing and then it takes about that long for them to realize their usage has changed. Expensive paperweight in the end.
Ultrabooks are replacing netbooks, people don't buy small thin lightweight machines for gaming.

by: coldtortilla
Have you tried any of the sony S series laptops, they are pretty thin and depending on the model you can get pretty decent graphics power. Paying ~$1000 for intel's integrated graphics feels like a total rip off to me.
The thinnest S Series is about 50% thicker than the maximum for an Ultrabook. They also weight about a pound more.
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#19
Steevo
by: Dos101
Pretty much. The Macbook Air is a great laptop (IMO), my only complaint is no RJ-45 connector, and it only has 2 USB ports. Other than that I think it's fantastic! Hopefully this ad campaign challenges PC manufacturers to put out better and better ultrabooks.
And the lack of optical drive. and the lack of anything but an operating system. And the 1300 price tag. And the hot and sweaty after actual use on your lap. and the issues with the wifi.

One of the owners bought one, and a side by side comparison the only advantages are thickness and the screen is marginally better at angles.

Price tag, performance, features, storage, blu-ray, four USB and one is a 3.0 port, HDMI, kine overclocked to 3.2ghz and still maintains a 6 hour full use battery life as those speeds were reached with lower voltage.

Mac products suck for the dollar.
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#20
Dos101
by: Steevo
And the lack of optical drive. and the lack of anything but an operating system. And the 1300 price tag. And the hot and sweaty after actual use on your lap. and the issues with the wifi.

One of the owners bought one, and a side by side comparison the only advantages are thickness and the screen is marginally better at angles.

Price tag, performance, features, storage, blu-ray, four USB and one is a 3.0 port, HDMI, kine overclocked to 3.2ghz and still maintains a 6 hour full use battery life as those speeds were reached with lower voltage.

Mac products suck for the dollar.
Meh I like it, works fine for me. I dual boot Windows and Mac OS on it (Windows for regular use, Mac OS if I need the battery to last). Never really gets too hot, most of the time anyways haha. Never had an issue with wifi, then again that's just me.

Yes a little on the expensive side, but the build quality you have to admit is phenomenal compared to other brands (Acer's especially feels cheap). If I wanted/needed any of those extra features you list, or the extra power, I would've sprung for a laptop, not an ultrabook.
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#21
Fourstaff
by: coldtortilla
Have you tried any of the sony S series laptops, they are pretty thin and depending on the model you can get pretty decent graphics power. Paying ~$1000 for intel's integrated graphics feels like a total rip off to me.
There is K50, K52, N50, some Toshiba, Sony S something, M14x, UX31 and MBA at my home belonging to various flatmates. Laptops belonging to friends which I come across regularly GX660, Inspiron 17, Probook 13", 2 Atoms, XPS 15, some 2 year old Clevo and an old Dell 1730. I will not hesitate to get either the MBA or the UX31 if my laptop dies today.
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