Intel to flaunt its geek chic in two Super Bowl ads

Chip maker focuses on new Core chips with two commercials aired during Sunday's game

The folks at Intel aren't just happy to be geeks, they're proud of it. And flaunting it in two new ads that will air during this weekend's Super Bowl.

The chip maker is paying in the range of $5 million to show the two ads, one of which will be repeated during the course of the game, along with title sponsorship of the post-game show, according to David Dickstein, an Intel spokesman.

"I think, over the last 10 years at least, it's been cool to be a geek," he added. "We're geeks here, and we're damn proud of it."

In recent commercials, Intel has been showing off what the company calls its geek rock stars. In one commercial, for instance, Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB (universal serial bus) was featured just walking through the hallways of Intel, receiving the kind of adoration usually reserved for the likes of Bono or Usher. "Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars," the tagline says.

However, the Super Bowl advertisements aren't focused on geeks as rock stars but on how big a deal the company is making of its latest Core processors.

One ad, according to Dickstein, is set in an Intel lunch room where some employees are saying the new chips are the most important thing they've ever done. A robot, which has been thinking it was the company's biggest technical breakthrough, hears the conversation, is disillusioned, and goes off in a huff.

"The geek humor is definitely working and we're happy with the results," Dickstein said. "We like the geek humor."

The second commercial features two boys playing video games in the 1970s. The commercial follows them as they grow into their 20s, 30s and 40s and end up working at Intel, where they're working on Core processors.

Dickstein added that Intel hasn't had its own commercial during the Super Bowl for 12 years, but this year seemed to be the right one to get back into it.

"The Super Bowl has 95 million viewers and that's a great start for these new commercials," he said. "You just can't beat that communication channel."

Intel_lunchroom
Intel released this screen shot from one of two commercials it's running during Sunday's Super Bowl. In the photo, from a commercial titled "Lunch Room," a robot gets its feelings hurt. (Photo courtesy of Intel Corp.)

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, send e-mail to sgaudin@computerworld.com or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .

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