Intel Corporation's 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' Global Branding Campaign

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG227 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing Communications / Branding / Advertising and Promotions
Case Length : 28 Pages
Period : 1989-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Intel Corporation
Industry : Computers, IT and ITeS
Countries : USA


This case is about the various branding initiatives adopted by the world's largest semiconductor company Intel Corporation (Intel) that contributed to its maintaining its position as one of the world's top global brands. While the case focuses on the 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' global branding campaign launched in May 2009, it also provides a background on all the successful campaigns launched by the company over the years.

'Sponsors of Tomorrow' was a multi-million dollar campaign that sought to promote the 'Intel' brand as opposed to its microprocessor chipsets. The campaign comprised TV commercials that included teaser promos featuring actors who played Intel's engineers. It was backed by print, online, and outdoor elements.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Prior to launching this campaign, Intel aggressively marketed its microprocessors to consumers when they were unaware of what a microprocessor meant and its significance to their Personal Computer (PC). Intel launched several noteworthy branding campaigns, the most popular being the 'Intel Inside' campaign where it convinced consumers to buy PCs equipped with Intel's microprocessors, in 1991. After the unprecedented success of this campaign, Intel continued to launch several other branding campaigns that sought to promote its products such as the Bunny People ad campaign that featured Intel's engineers in bunny suits for marketing its Intel MMX technology, in 1997, followed by Blue Man Group ads for promoting its Pentium and Celeron processors, in 2001.

Intel also used humor as an element for promoting its Centrino mobile technology platform, in 2005. The company also rebranded itself by launching the 'Leap Ahead' campaign in 2005 to signify the leap it had taken in technology, in education, manufacturing, and social responsibility. This was followed by the 'Multiply' campaign to promote its Core 2 Duo processors, in September 2006. Despite achieving unprecedented success through these campaigns, Intel went ahead with launching the 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' campaign that focused on promoting the 'Intel' brand.

The 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' campaign received mixed reactions from experts. Some experts opined that for years, Intel had been focusing on its successful products; however, with this new campaign it had established an emotional connection with the customers. It also credited the engineers behind Intel's technology. Moreover, they felt that the ad voiced optimism about the future in the backdrop of the global economic slowdown. On the other hand, some critics felt that the campaign would not strike a chord with the audience and would not help Intel's bottom line. They also added that the campaign had been launched to offset the € 1.06 billion fine imposed by the European Union for its alleged anti-trust business practices in the European microprocessors market.


Understand the issues and challenges in launching a global branding campaign.

Understand the issues and challenges in branding a component or ingredient branding.

Analyze the earlier branding campaigns adopted by Intel that contributed to its becoming one of the top global brands.

Analyze the 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' branding campaign that sought to promote the 'Intel' brand as opposed to its products.

Explore further branding strategies that Intel could adopt to maintain and enhance its position among global brands.


  Page No.
Intel's 'Rock Star' 1
Background Note 3
Marketing a Component? 6
Intel's Earlier Marketing Initiatives 7
The 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' Campaign 10
Initial Reactions 12
Looking Ahead 13
Exhibits 16


Marketing communications, Branding campaign, Rebranding, Promotions, Advertising, Teaser ad, Print ads, Online ad, Integrated marketing, Brand Structure, 'Intel Inside' campaign, 'Leap Ahead' campaign, 'Sponsors of Tomorrow' campaign, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, AMD

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