Less than a year into Intel’s flamboyant $US300 million Centrino campaign, the company’s national marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, Phillip Dows, claims the entire integrated approach is successful and here to stay.
“Centrino is a massive campaign but that’s not unusual given that Intel is a mass marketer,” Dows said. “Although I can’t release any figures, we are extremely happy with the campaign, which has been a phenomenal success.”
Dows said Centrino ignited Wi-Fi into the mainstream and helped drive usage of the new technology, which was already around before the campaign.
“Key outcomes of Centrino are a greater visibility of Wi-Fi and bringing the industry together,” he said. “For example, when Centrino started last year there were a few PC ranges and by the end of 2003 more models were available. Now Centrino is moving into consumer electronics markets. This market growth is proof of its success.
“Wireless in the home will be a key driver for consumer electronics as it is an enabling technology.”
Dows described Centrino as a complex integrated campaign which includes television, print media, and outdoor advertising in addition to 12 to 18 months of behind the scenes work.
“Before the launch of the campaign we were working with the ISP community around the world to establish co-marketing agreements on standards and quality,” he said. “There were a number of hours of lab testing and hotspot verification which allowed us to do co-branding. Direct marketing is also included so it is not just a media campaign.”
Local ISPs pledging support for Centrino include Telstra, Optus, Xone, HotSpot Global, and Azure.
“There are a number of companies making Wi-Fi processors but many are sold as add-on cards that require additional software,” Dows said. “Centrino is an off-the-shelf solution that is easier to purchase.”
With the 2003 launch behind Intel, the company is anticipating that 2004 will see the technology become more mainstream with more products and solutions being developed around it.
“Centrino is a big commitment by Intel and is here to stay,” Dows said. “It is a key campaign as the world is going mobile.”
Although other Wi-Fi players may benefit from Centrino, Dows said Intel was one of the few companies with the ability to build open standards and drive technologies.