Tech Check

Intel's 'Super' Deal

Intel's no stranger to advertising on big time professional sports. I remember years ago watching the NBA playoffs, blown away that this esoteric chipmaker so important to us in Silicon Valley was actually trying to "brand" itself outside of geekdom.

Never work, I thought. Kinda like a vanity plate or something. We'll spend big bucks to make us all feel good about ourselves.

Instead, "Intel Inside" became a phenomenon unto itself, those bunny suits became iconic, and the marketing plan helped cement Paul Otellini as CEO material eventually.

It's been over 12 years since Intel sponsored a Super Bowl. Yes, they joined Dreamworks last year in a 3D spot about "Monsters vs. Aliens," but yesterday was all about Intel.

And what a deal this company got.

Nevermind how quirky the Intel lunchroom ads might have been (so so, as far as I was concerned.) The real dividend came from Intel's sponsorship of the post-game show.

Turns out this was one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory, and the post game show, with those heart-gripping images of Drew Brees and his earphone-covered, angelic son were magical.

And Intel's logo was all over it.

This is now the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with 106 million viewers, surpassing the viewership of the 1983 "M*A*S*H" finale. And yeah, Intel was all over it.

"People are jazzed by what happened," an Intel insider tells me. "The branding on the post-game show was quite impressive."

He joked, "Drew Brees, you just won the Super Bowl, what are you gonna do next? I'm headed to Santa Clara to visit Intel's museum!"

Not quite.

So, how much for all this? While everyone else seemed to be paying $3 million per spot, Intel tells me it got three spots and the post-game marquee spot for under $4 million!

Intel isn't saying how it worked the deal, only that it did. A massive bang for the buck, and not nearly the bucks everyone thought it would cost.

Music to investors' ears.

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