Intel wants everyone to multiply this holiday season -- in the middle of Times Square.
The chip giant has taken over Times Square's bookend video billboards -- the Reuters and Nasdaq signs -- and is allowing people to upload photos of themselves that will appear sometime before the end of the campaign on Jan. 7. Each photo first appears as one image and then begins to multiply into hundreds of smaller ones in a display that lasts about a minute.
A multiplying mission
"'Multiply' is now our overall campaign for all we do at Intel," said Thom Campbell, Intel senior media manager. "Our mission is to manifest 'multiply' in media."
The term refers to Intel's new processing architecture, the Core brand, which features multiple processors and computing power on a single chip. The already released Core 2 Duo has two computing engines on one chip and the Core 2 Quad set for first-quarter release has four computing engines on one.
The chips are key to Intel's strategy to remain the biggest processor manufacturer in the world. Increasing innovation and aggressive salesmanship from competitor AMD has cost Intel some market share. The most recent third-quarter data showed Intel shipping about 76.1% of all chips for desktops, notebooks and servers compared with AMD's 23.3%, according to Mercury Research. However, a year earlier, Intel led with an 80.7% share over AMD's 17.7%.
"It's likely the two companies will continue to trade the technology-performance crown back and forth as both architecture [systems] evolve over the next few years," said analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates. "Intel may have taken it back with the Core 2 Duo generation, but it's not a done deal."
To help push the Core 2 success, Intel plans to get more creative with media, and the Times Square promotion is a key example, Mr. Campbell said. "We're pushing creativity with media; it's really in the forefront now of what we're doing."
So far, the promotion is generating good traffic. Consumers uploaded 800 images on day one, and at least one picture was used for a successful marriage proposal. The groom-to-be's picture included a sign asking, "Will you marry me?" His fiancé (a buyer with Intel media agency Universal McCann) replied with her own sign: "Yes!"
Correction: This article originally stated that the already-released Core 2 Duo is a double-speed processor, and the Core 2 Quad set for first-quarter release is four times faster. In fact, the already-released Core 2 Duo has two computing engines on one chip and the Core 2 Quad set for first-quarter release has four computing engines on one.