AMD plays its first game with Viswanathan Anand

By Neha Kalra , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | June 20, 2008
The brand's first conjunctive marketing and advertising effort is centred round the online initiative,, in which ace chess player and brand ambassador Viswanathan Anand endorses the brand and answers questions about it

Advanced & #BANNER1 & # Micro Devices (AMD), a well known name in the computer processors market, has roped in a brand ambassador for its range of products for the very first time. Chess master Viswanathan Anand has been brought on board globally to endorse AMD's range of products.

Apart from bringing in Anand to speak for its brand values, the company has put together a communication strategy that includes its first brand focussed TV commercial and other media, too.

The first brand centric TVC was launched last week, seven years after the company came into India in 2001. The 30 second film features Anand, who is shown playing cricket, but unable to play the game with any kind of aptitude. Next, he is shown communicating to the viewers that in a cricket crazy nation like ours, where everyone aims to be a cricketer, he chose to pursue chess because that was what he was best at. He is seen establishing a connect between his personal decision to play chess and getting consumers to think in a similar manner while choosing a processor for their computer.

One of the print ads
Deepanshu Sharma, general manager, marketing, AMD, says, "AMD, unlike most other brands, has built its communication strategy around an online initiative, The website provides an interactive platform to consumers to speak to Anand about the brand; Anand will answer the consumers' queries and give his opinion. The TVC also sports the weblink at the end, as do the print ads."

Without revealing much about the ad spends, Sharma said that television, which is an expensive medium, will account for more than 40 per cent of AMD's ad budget, with online taking up another 20 per cent. The remaining 40 per cent will be divided between outdoor and print. Print will include IT, business and enthusiast magazines.

AMD is not the first technology brand that Anand is endorsing. Prior to this, he has endorsed NIIT, formerly National Institute of Information Technology. Coincidentally, NIIT is handled by the same agency that handles AMD, Contract Advertising. The agency was brought on board four years ago. AMD's media duties are handled by Maxus (of GroupM).

Prior to this, AMD was a small part of the communication for HP and Dreamworks (for films such as Shrek and Madagascar). This is the first time that an integrated effort has been made at independent communication for the brand.

"Bringing on Anand is a concerted effort to sign on an ambassador who embodies the features of AMD. This is a focussed effort for a single minded communication. A processor is supposed to undertake multiple tasks, as Anand does," says Sharma.

Why did AMD wait so long to launch a brand relevant communication? Sharma says, "We needed a few things to fall in place first. Relationships needed to take proper shape with local dealers such as HP and HCL and multinational companies such as Dell and Lenovo. We had to train our partners to sell AMD. We wished to possess a demonstrative record of performance before we went ahead."

"Indians are used to a certain way of buying computers. They need to understand how a computer works and the importance of making the right processor choice," says Sharma. The communication is targeted at dispelling ignorance and making customers aware of "how" they should make decisions.

Sharma outlines the target audience as anybody who is looking for a technology solution that is designed to their needs. In terms of geographies, people from the metros, non-metros and deeper towns are being considered, as also all SEC sections.

Worldwide, there are two players in the computer processor market: Intel and AMD. While Intel has a market share of around 78 per cent globally, AMD has 20 per cent. The remaining 2 per cent lies with some small partnership brands.

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