Intel will begin airing several commercials soon with Michael Phelps, where actor Jim Parsons makes fun of Phelps for having the world’s slowest computer. The series of short segments shows the Olympics swimming star making the “Phelps face” because his computer is so slow.
The Intel commercial will air on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS on Thursday, and it comes at a time when Intel is pushing into sports enthusiast markets as part of its plan to revive PC sales. Market researcher Gartner said that global PC sales fell 5.7 percent in the third quarter, but Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker, raised its estimates for Q3 revenues. Intel is one of the world’s biggest spenders when it comes to advertising technology, and it is clearly trying hard to motivate computer users to upgrade to its newest Core processors.
In one commercial, Parsons sits next to Phelps, who is typing on an old laptop, looking frustrated. Parsons urges Phelps to get a new computer, saying, “You should retire that one too.” When asked why he isn’t getting one, Phelps replies, “It keeps me humble.” And Parsons rolls his eyes. The commercial taps into the public perception of Phelps, who won 28 Olympic medals in his swimming career, including six medals in Rio de Janeiro. But it also shows that Phelps doesn’t take himself too seriously, at least when, presumably, he has a chance to make some good money from his reputation.
Intel is touting its 7th-generation Core processors that are debuting in more than 100 new computers this fall. Intel said the collaboration with Phelps is the latest in its integrated marketing campaign with Parsons to showcase new PCs.
“Intel’s brand promise is to make amazing experiences possible,” said Steve Fund, Intel’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “These new ads featuring Michael Phelps draw a parallel between the newest lightning-fast Intel-powered PCs and one of the world’s fastest swimmers.”
The spots, titled “Faster Processing” and “Phelps Face,” feature Phelps using a painfully slow computer and Parsons convincing him to upgrade to an Intel-powered PC for a faster, more seamless experience. The creative assets featuring Phelps aim to reach the 400 million people with a 5-year-old computer and demonstrate the dramatic difference in performance found on a new PC.
“I’m excited to work with Intel as I can relate to Intel’s continuous improvement on speed, power, efficiency and amazing performance, which is similar to my own athletic journey,” Phelps said.
The commercials are in the video below.