Kent pointed at Intel's IT Manager Game, which is a flash sim game that (while pretty boring overall) is an interesting approach to helping advertise and sell your product. As the IT manager, you are responsible for keeping the clients and servers running happily, which in turn keeps the users productive, which makes money for the company, which is a good thing. As the IT manager you will need to purchase new hardware and repair existing hardware in order to keep everything running smoothly. There are two categories of hardware, wait for it, wait for it... “No-Name” and Intel. The Intel brand is of course, superior, and the descriptions of similar items from No Name or Intel are amusing:
Companies that are concerned with cost may opt for desktops powered by generic processors. While these desktops can ably perform the most rudimentary functions, they are often less reliable than their better-known counterparts. The cost savings of a generic processor will undoubtedly be offset by the slower processing speeds and the inability to handle high-end applications that have become routine in the e-Business economy.
Intel Pentium II desktop:
Intel® Pentium® II processors, available in speeds from 233 MHz to 450 MHz, deliver excellent performance for business computing. Software designed for Intel’s MMX™ technology unleashes the full multimedia capabilities of these processors, including full-screen, full-motion video, enhanced colour, and realistic graphics. Pentium® II processors help simplify system management and lower the total cost of ownership for large and small business environments. The Pentium® II processor also meets the needs of entry-level servers and workstations.
I'm mildly amused by how the Intel hardware is significantly more expensive - sure, ya gotta pay for quality, but it also reminds me as a player that gosh, Intel costs a lot. Another interesting point is that even the Intel hardware breaks down and must be fixed... but really that's not their fault, you can clearly see the flashing blue screen. 🙂
Also interesting is that without a laptop, workers in meetings are not productive. Are they trying to imply that people with laptops at meetings aren't actually doing work related to that meeting? Naah...
I think this is a pretty interesting approach to advertising overall, and I wonder if it's at all effective. If nothing else, it is amusing and keeps the brand in people's minds, which can't hurt.