Simple is hard, Intel advertising exec tells T-birds

Simple is hard, Intel’s Vice President of Advertising and Digital Marketing Kevin Sellers told Thunderbird students during a campus visit Nov. 21, 2013. Sellers said the best brands have a simple message, which breaks through the competitive clutter. “The average consumer is hit with 5,000 messages a day,” Sellers said. “Great marketing is about simple and repeated.”

In addition to creating a simple positioning statement, Sellers said good brands are built by being unique, providing consumers with an emotional connection and employing a clear call to action. “A brand gives you loyalty preference and the ability to demand a premium,” said Sellers, also noting that a strong brand can get companies through the “valleys of death” when they fall on hard times.

Intel has gone through its own peaks and valleys, but Sellers said, “We have built a brand that is powerful and stands for something.” Sellers supported that statement with survey data, showing 71 percent of respondents would feel more positive about a device with Intel inside. But even a strong brand like Intel has to adapt to survive. Intel was founded in 1968 and now has to connect with a tech-savvy generation. “You have to connect with pop culture,” said Sellers. In the “old world,” he said, you had to get people’s attention. In the “new world” you have to hold it.

Sellers said that providing an emotional connection gives consumers a genuine reason to care about the brand, citing the Dove campaign for “Real Beauty” and Chrysler’s tagline, “Imported from Detroit,” as successful examples of this. Intel has recently developed its own ad campaign that taps into human emotion called, Look inside, which reminds people that it’s what inside that counts. “They are two simple words that say so much,” Sellers said.

Companies creating successful branding campaigns today, like Intel, are the ones thinking beyond ads that flatly state, “My products are better than your products,” said Sellers, adding that convention is not always right. “The more anti-convention you are,” he said, “the more likely you are to stand out and win.”

Check out a video from Intel’s new Look inside campaign.

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