"Your great-grandkids just called. They want their computer back."
So goes one of the new advertising slogans for Intel's Ultrabooks, part of a giant marketing push by Intel to position its lightweight notebooks as devices from "the future." A term recently coined by Intel to describe a new class of slim, lightweight, fast-waking laptops that use the company's low-power processors, "Ultrabooks" from companies like HP, Asus, and Dell have all recently been released in 2012, and now Intel is throwing a whole bunch of cash -- a figure in the "hundreds of millions of dollars," per Intel -- behind a huge advertising campaign determined to get the word out about this new category of computers.
All of the ads in this enormous campaign -- in print, on the Internet, and on television -- will attempt to make consumers think of Ultrabooks as a futuristic, state-of-the-art technology, and of thicker, heavier laptops as an artifact of the past.
Intel recently released its first of three television ads, all of which will which depict historical characters using clunky PCs being disrupted by characters from the present enjoying the speed and portability of Ultrabooks. The one below, called "Desperado," is the initial one out of the gate and is apparently typical of the tone and style.
Follow-up ads will include spots called "House of Flying Laptops" (with an Ang Lee-esque martial arts theme) and "Round Table" (which takes place during the time of King Arthur).
The tagline for those ads: "Suddenly, everything else seems old-fashioned. Ultrabook. Inspired by Intel."
The PC market is expected to grow about 4.4 percent this year, according to research by Gartner, and Intel certainly hopes that part of that growth will be fueled by Ultrabook sales, given its stake in the new category's success. It has already invested 300 million dollars in companies manufacturing Ultrabooks, and with "hundreds of millions" more sunk into this campaign, you can bet Intel has Ultra-high hopes for its de facto MacBook Air competitors.
And there are, we should note, a whole lot of them. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, we saw at least eight different Ultrabooks unveiled, and there are many, many more -- including Samsung's intriguing Series 9 notebooks -- that have been announced and released since.
The next wave of Ultrabooks, meanwhile, is already being closely watched and is hotly anticipated in some corners. New Ultrabooks will include Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge processors, which should bring even faster computing and much-improved battery life. Ultrabooks with those processors are apparently due in late April or early May.
Until then, we have our "Desperado" commercial and the expectation of a raft of new Intel ads coming to a television, newspaper, website, Twitter feed and Facebook sidebar near you. Ultrabooks may or may not be "the future," but Ultrabook advertisements are definitely the now.
Below, check out the Ultrabooks that debuted in January at CES 2012 -- many of which are now available for sale.