Intel marketing chief: ‘We lost the advertising plot’

Intel brands have been too complicated and confusing when compared to rivals like Apple, admits the global marketing chief Don MacDonald, as the company gears up for a major autumn advertising push.

Speaking in an exclusive and candid interview with Marketing Week, Intel worldwide head of marketing MacDonald says he aims to ensure that Intel marketing pays “an attention to detail that hasn’t been around for 10 years” and puts creativity at the core.

He says the company is even offering $1m (£500,000) as a prize to an employee who will come up with “a kick-arse idea” for advertising.

The new campaign, created by McCann Erickson, will build on the success of its Multiply strategy and will aim to achieve the kind of creative advertising that has given brands such as Apple an edge in their brand image and perception and says the “best is yet to come” from Intel.

MacDonald admits Intel lost out to rivals and became complacent. “Intel took its eye off the ball. Our inability to tell our story cost us dear. Our brands were too complicated and too confusing.”

He says in terms of marketing creativity he has raised standards. “That bar is best in class. I’ll never tolerate bad creative: there is no longer good, bad or mediocre creative – only the best. We needed a huge dose of intellectual honesty and McCann accepts its role of producing nothing but the very best.”

The new advertising push later this year is in development and hinges around the concept that “technology matters” with a focus on mobility.

MacDonald took the marketing helm last year, replacing Eric Kim who came from Samsung in November 2004. Kim was tasked with revitalising marketing and branding, and decided to ditch the Intel Inside strapline, created by Dennis Carter and which was used for about 15 years.

Since MacDonald’s arrival he has restructured the marketing team and slashed budgets, saying Intel marketing needed to be “leaner, meaner and more effective”.

MacDonald says 35% of ad spend is online, but that his commitment to TV is larger this year, as Intel seeks to further build the personality of its brand.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here