Intel recruits Staples marketing manager – Jeremy Davies, CONTEXT CEO asks, so what will that mean?

I never really got on board with the “Intel Inside” campaign. I couldn’t understand why anyone would (a) worry and (b) least of all even want to know what was inside their PC, apart form die-hard techies with the same knowledge requirements as train-spotters or gaming nerds. Do I need to know that I have a Siemens electric motor inside my Bosch washing machine? Or that my Mini diesel engine is also used in a Peugot? (Are you sure?- ed) Did I ever care what powered my Nokia 6210? No. Provided it did the job, and did it well without breaking down, that was all that mattered.

Like many others, however, I went along with it, spell-bound by the amount of effort, money and energy that went into that famous da-da-da-dah jingle after every PC ad on the telly, and watched as Intel spent millions and millions of dollars on convincing us that to have a really useful PC, it had to have Intel bits and bobs inside it. However, I never figured out how to benefit financially from the promotion, unlike thousands and thousands of resellers, retailers and manufacturers all of who were quite willing to take Intel’s money if all it meant was a logo in a shop front or a sticker on your PC.

But, as the song says, times they are a-changing, and no matter how much Intel tries today to convince punters that having Intel guts is a good thing, it really just doesn’t resonate any more. In 2013, Intel was number nine on consulting firm Interbrand’s global ranking, down from number seven in 2011. And what more proof than recognition by Intel themselves that the Intel Inside story has run its course, with marketing VPs departing and marketing staff leaving in droves, and now a new marketing head. But you have to ask: what can a guy from Staples do? What is the thinking behind hiring a consumer IT marketing person to spearhead new thinking at a company that makes innards for computers, especially with the consumer PC market in the dumps and everyone buying Apple and Samsung tablets? Honestly, I don’t see why Intel has to do any marketing other than the occasional prestige ad in The Economist or Financial Times like GE does with its aero engines. Intel makes good bits for IT devices – full stop. It’s that simple.

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