MWC 2014: AMD takes fight to Intel with 'authentic' strategy after 'too technical messages'

AMD, whose chips are in the Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii U consoles, is focusing on explaining what the brand represents, after admitting its consumer marketing became fragmented by "too many technical messages".

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, AMD senior vice president and chief marketing officer Colette LaForce said the company recognised last year it did not "have a very strong grasp on our brand" and is now focused on enabling its consumers reach it "more closely". 

LaForce said AMD is now focused on trying to ensure it has "a very authentic conversation" with its "fans", in contrast to its major competitor Intel focusing on big spending mass-market campaigns and sponsorship deals.

AMD senior manager of global communications Gary Silcott added that this has included engaging with brand advocates such as a man who asked for a computer running on an AMD chip in order to propose to his girlfriend.

Silcott explained: "I got an email  and I probably get five or 10 of these emails a week – and he told me a little bit of a hard luck story about his computer dying and over time I could sense he was sincere.

"Before I hit send on the order I said we would like you to film it – he did all the production itself so it was organic – and the film went viral. We have really loyal fans."

These fans, which AMD calls its "enthusiast community", are also now able to get rewarded for their loyalty via a rewards programme AMD is running in partnership with gaming enthusiast website Raptr.

The programme allows fans to download software to get information on how to optimise their system and also enable fans to accrue points and win prizes, coupons and free games.

Social media activity supporting AMD’s strategy has enabled the company to grow its social followship by 30-40% and grow fans of its Facebook corporate page to 1.4m.

LaForce added: "If you look at our sales with 38% growth from Q4 2013 over Q4 2012 it shows our marketing strategy is working well for us."

The company is now running an "If it can game" campaign in Europe featuring computer characters including Lara Croft and Sonic the Hedgehog that states if AMD technology can power the most sophisticated gaming consoles built today "imagine what it can do in your PC".

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