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Intel Inside is the slogan of an advertising campaign started by the Intel Corporation, to raise consumer awareness regarding PC microprocessors in general and the Intel brand in particular. The campaign was built around simple slogans and iconic visuals that inspired many to create parodies of the campaign to promote their own ideas and/or humor.
While the use of personal computers had been growing steadily since the late 1970s, at the dawn of the 1990s most consumers were still in the dark about what made one computer system better than another. The Intel corporation had recently made inroads in marketing their microprocessors to computer manufacturers, but wanted to take things a step further and find a way to market directly to the end user. In doing this, they believed that consumers would become more informed about what distinguished high-quality microprocessors, and hopefully seeing Intel’s products as superior, they would demand computers with Intel hardware. Their advertising agency came up with the slogan “Intel. The computer inside.” which was soon shortened to “Intel Inside.” and Intel set up a marketing program in which they offered to share the cost of print ads for computers if their logo appeared in the ad. Along with this, Intel paid Industrial Light and Magic to create a television ad promoting the new 486 processors.
The campaign was largely successful, and Intel quickly moved from near-obscurity to a household brand name.
Whether an indication of the campaign being too simplistic, or a testament to its influence on society, people quickly began to make their own versions of the logo and slogan to fit their own interests or expressions of humor. Sometimes these were merely icons on people’s websites. while at other times they were auto decals.
The Pentium math bug
In March 1993, Intel introduced the Pentium processor, considered for many reasons to be far superior to any previous microprocessor. However, it was also discovered before too long to have a bug in the handling of certain floating-point division operators. Dr. Thomas R. Nicely, a mathematics professor at Lynchburg College in Virginia, was the first person to bring this bug to the attention of the public. Having contacted Intel with questions about computing errors he was encountering in a research project and having been given no help on the matter, Nicely composed an open email describing the bug and asking others to check their Pentium systems to verify his observations. Intel eventually admitted that they were aware of the flaw, but claimed it was unlikely to effect most users. There was a public outcry, and may users expressed their disappointment through further parodies of Intel’s logos.
Intel eventually relented and offered to replace faulty Pentium processors at no cost.
Work in progress.