A few weeks back, I raised my eyebrows over Paul Otellini’s notion that Intel would find success by “communicating clearly what the technology can do for consumers” because “you can’t just talk about the bits and bytes”. On an airplane, scanning through a New Yorker, I ran up against the first evidence of this; a glossy four-page spread trying to build their “Viiv” branding. I gotta say, they’re trying to do just what Otellini said they would, but it’s kind of puzzling.

The spread features incredibly-handsome young movie director Bennett Miller, dressed in black of course, striking relaxed poses in an all-white Manhattan-flavored apartment with a klunky tower-form-factor PC (no visible wires, neat trick) in pride of place in among all the blank sleekness.

The ad helpfully explains Bennett’s five favorite Viiv advantages. I think I’ll reproduce most of that copy.


... “declutter” work life and media room by storing all images, videos, and films in the powerful memory of one sleek “box”.


An extensive database of movies, images, and scenes can be accessed easily, yielding any desired file at any given moment.

Easy Reference

Plenty of room to store archives in one place for easy reference and call-up when needed.

Big-Screen Appeal

One can enjoy home theater-like performance with support for up to 7.1 surround sound.


PC capability brought to the screen means the ability to cut and edit films and footage right from the comfort of the sofa2. [The footnote says “Remote may be sold separately”.]

Is it just me, or is something going off the rails here? Item: All modern computers can do all these things (you may have to get a premium soundcard to get 7.1). Item: You can’t edit video with a remote. Item: The weird, stilted, disjointed, disorganized language; the first three points only say two things between them, and the language dips into reference-manual-ese (“yielding any desired file at any given moment”), and the quotation marks are right out of control.

Then the last page in the four-page spread is weirdly unrelated and almost content-free, with no evidence of what’s-his-name the movie director.

I guess the marketing theory says that if you explain what any old computer can do for you on nice-looking page with “Intel Viiv” displayed prominently, people will refuse to buy computers that don’t have that on the outside because they’re worried they won’t do those things.

Even if the language is incoherent and the prop-computer butt-ugly.

Maybe it’ll work. But there really ought to be a better way.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 16, 2006
· Business (126 fragments)
· · Marketing (58 more)

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