Intel Corp. this month hired two people into various divisions that deal with consumer-oriented business. Neither of the persons are known for their work at hardware companies, neither of them are engineers. But both have a lot of experience in media industry and both are likely to help Intel to make its brand look “cool” among the young.
Ex-BBC Director to Lead Digital Home Development at Intel
Last week Intel appointed Erik Huggers as corporate vice president and general manager of the company’s digital home group and become a member of Intel’s management committee. Mr. Huggers was a director of the BBC’s Future Media & Technology division, he joined BBC in 2007 and was responsible for delivering BBC content over the Internet, interactive TV and mobile. Prior to joining the BBC, he was with Microsoft where he led the global business development for Windows Media Technologies. Before joining Microsoft, Huggers worked with Endemol Entertainment as director of business development for its interactive division.
Given the experience Mr. Huggers has, it is very likely that his primary job will be related to media content as well as development of various content delivery mechanisms. Obviously, this is an important part of the digital home in general and Mr. Huggers will make sure that all of Intel’s hardware technologies can be used at home by consumers.
Musician Becomes “Director of Creative Innovation”
This week Intel hired William James Adams better known as will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas and a number of other music projects. Intel said that Mr. Adams will be director of creative innovation at the company and will engage in a multi-year, hands-on creative and technology collaboration with Intel. In his role, will.i.am will collaborate with Intel on many creative and technology endeavors across the “compute continuum” that may include such devices as laptops, smart phones and tablets. Complementing his visionary role as the front man for The Black Eyed Peas, Mr. Adams is also already working on music expressly for Intel.
“Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help to amplify my own creativity. Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing,” said William ‘will.i.am’ Adams.
The relationship ties in with Intel’s “compute continuum” vision, in which more and more devices will compute and connect to the Internet, and the company’s “visual life” initiative that explores how visual experiences such as photos, videos and movies are redefining the relationship consumers have with laptops, smart phones, tablets and other devices.
“We are thrilled to tap into the limitless creativity will.i.am brings to the table. He’s not only a brilliant artist and producer, but also an innovator pushing the bounds of technology professionally and personally. We share a strong interest in innovation around music, art and lifestyle, and are excited to join forces to establish an authentic, emotional connection with consumers,” said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and chief marketing officer
While the multi-platinum music artist and producer is indisputably talented and creative, at Intel he will hardly influence development of hardware, but will rather promote certain solutions as a celebrity.
Boosting "Intel Inside", Creating "Intel Outside" Experience
What Intel wants to achieve is association of its brand with solutions aimed at consumers (e.g., compete against names like Sony or Samsung that may or may not use Intel’s or competing chips). In fact, Intel is no longer satisfied with Intel Inside, it wants to be outside the PCs as well, so, improving end-user experience means the beginning of "Intel Outside" paradigm.
Moreover, association of Intel and Intel-based products with a celebrity means that young people will consider them as something “cool” and will prefer them to solutions without chips by Intel. The approach makes a lot of sense as Intel enters the market of tablets and smartphones, where its “Intel Core Inside” sticker has almost no value, whereas names like Apple or Research-in-Motion definitely do. With the help of Eric Huggers and William James Adams that situation is going to change.