How Intel engages us, spreads brand through social media

Reviews have been mostly good for the Museum of Me, Intel’s viral application that lets you and me and everyone we know create a film archive of information we’ve uploaded to Facebook.

Me? I love it. Why? It’s a great example of good advertising enabled by the interactivity of  social media — it engages. The Museum of Me brings you, Facebook and Intel together as co-creators of a multi-room archive of your friends, photos, words and movies. The effects are striking and the music is stirring.

In the Museum of Me, the whole is greater than the parts. Our viewing animates the rooms and embeds them with meaning. As we move through the galleries constructed from our “content,” the experience moves us.

Some find the Museum of Me creepy. I didn’t. I found it moving, much in the same way that Facebook can be moving when you connect with a photo of a friend’s new baby or see the anniversary pictures of dear friends living far away. Some find it narcissistic. Maybe a bit, but not in a pathological way. It’s about as self centered as any photo album, home movie, or article that we post on the semi-public places of the Internet.  Why do we do it? Because in many ways our life is our art, and the Museum of Me reflects back to each of us the self-curated collection that is our story line.

The Museum of Me showcases Intel’s Core processor, the flagship of the brand.  Core bundles computing capability and the graphics capability on one chip. It provides rich high definition visual effects that let you connect content from your laptop wirelessly with your TV through a technology dubbed WiDi.

I spoke with Jayant Murty, Director for Brand Strategy and Integrated Marketing, Intel Asia Pacific, who oversees marketing for a 2 billion person market that includes Australia, Korea and Japan.  He worked with Stephanie Gan, the Asia Pacific Regional Manager of Advertising and Digital Programs to create the Museum of Me, with support from a digital agency called Projector in Japan.

What kind of reach has the Museum of Me had?

We have had more then 3 million visits to the site so far. We are still scratching the surface.  I think many more people will experience it in the next few weeks. Through Twitter and other social media, it has a life of its own.

My experience of the Museum of Me was surprising and alarming and then ultimately satisfying. Are you still fine-tuning it?

The user experience is a lot richer for people who use Facebook frequently. This is a social archive. The friends wall has room for only 58 pictures. The initial gallery is the 7 people you interact with most.

There was a lot of risk-taking in this.  You can’t share your video. We thought about this aspect and discussed it a lot.

The Museum of Me has memories that are uniquely yours. These are very personal things. It means a lot you as an individual.

We decided, “Let’s make this the first really private experience in the a public environment.”  Almost 80% of the people come back and say, “We love the fact that it is private.” The other 20% say, “Come on! You should have made this shareable!”

We are listening all the time.

How do you listen to feedback from 2 billion people?

It is more gratifying when people have different levels of joy and satisfaction. Brands are conversations.  The more the conversation is two way, the richer the brand and also the stronger the brand becomes over time. We are constantly listening to people who comment and post stuff.  There is this constant dialogue.

Intel posted its social media guidelines publicly in 2008. You have been active in the social media space for years. You‘ve had your share of controversy and adjustment.  What lessons can you offer other corporate brand managers who are not as experienced?

All our best practices are public. It is a fairly transparent system.

The only learning we can offer is to be able to start off with the belief that no guideline is accurate from day one. As long as you have a guideline within your company that says you are always thinking in the best interests of our customers and you will be maintaining that as you go along, you’ll be OK. If you  understand that nothing is set in stone, then generally you are in good shape.

How does the Museum of  Me further your Visually Smart brand?

In the Museum of Me, the branding is very quiet. You see the Core branding at the very end.

What we are finding in these noisy environments is that if you keep the brand noise low and you keep the consumer engagement high, no matter how muted the brand, consumers catch it. They like the fact that we keep the brand low.  We’ve learned that understatement helps.

This is even more important in social networks, where consumers really reject brands when they are seen as being manipulative. The Museum of Me does not take you down the path of intrusion. It is a rich experience that they have not had before.

The social Web can be a powerful for changing the culture of businesses themselves. What has Intel learned?

First, fundamentally, product cycles and business cycles have changed in the tech industry. Now we are launching products every 6 months. Second, how do you get there? The answer is extraordinary listening. We have an extraordinary number of ethnographers who work with us.

Social media has added another layer to listening.

The important question is, “What do you do after you listen?” There is a cycle time involved in responding to listening.

Some companies are extraordinarily intuitive and gifted. They can  just guess where the planet is headed and that’s fine. But for most companies, listening makes a huge difference and will help a company come out with products that matter.

There is a cycle time involved in responding to your listening. As long as you can get some agility between the time you get feedback and revise and return to consumers then you have a virtuous circle.

How is marketing on the social Web evolving?

Things are getting more and more intuitive.

You assume when you see an arrow up or an arrow down, that sets the volume up and the other sets the volume down. You can look at the world and say it is hugely complicated or you can look at the universe and say that there is something that holds people together.

What you will see is that the more intuitive the social Web gets, the easier it is to deal with the complexities of language and culture.

We in the technology industry have a better chance for making things more universal.

Intel was early out of the gate using social media and is practiced at working with its community. The company currently has 75 Intel-related accounts with nearly 180,000 followers. The company has 19 different topical or regional blogs. The company has 11 communities in several different languages plus software community for developers. Intel’s Facebook presence comprises 50 Facebook Fan Pages in different countries, led by Facebook.com/Intel, which has 1.5 million fans, plus a YouTube Intel Channel. You can view some gorgeous promotional films on the Visibly Smart theme on the company’s website.

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  • http://freepress.com kenekaplan

    Hi, Sally. I enjoyed your intro and Q&A. It inspired an article I wrote that includes a few additional viewpoints: The Making of Museum of Me, from sketch on a napkin to a Facebook app that quickly reached millions of people http://intel.ly/jSuK6C. I hope you enjoy. Now I’m off to read more of your posts. Looking foward to following you on Twitter.

    • http://www.sallyduros.com Sally

      Thanks for letting me know about your piece, Ken. The Museum of Me is a reflecting pool not only for each of us, but also for the “emotional stuff” that is the essence of advertising. I will continue to ponder what all this is about, as will all businesses on the path to be come “social.”