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Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell and Lenovo Unite for Big PC Advertising Push

In an industry first, the leading PC makers are joining Intel and Microsoft in a unified campaign, dubbed "PC Does What?"

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Intel and Microsoft are teaming with three leading PC makers on a new ad campaign designed to make potential computer buyers more aware of all the things a modern PC can do.

The campaign, with the slogan “PC Does What?” is set to be announced Thursday at a Webcast featuring the companies’ top marketing executives, according to sources familiar with the companies’ plans. It will feature TV, print and online advertisements, sources said.

The fact that Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell and Lenovo all want to see more PCs sold is hardly news. But that they have gotten together on a unified campaign is a first.

Historically, much of the PC industry’s advertising has been subsidized by Intel and Microsoft, whose profit margins are far larger than those who make PCs. But typically they work individually with each PC maker rather than as a group.

As for the campaign, it will run in the U.S. and China and is designed to let people know that the latest PCs do a lot more than the machine they likely have at home and at work. Intel noted when it launched its newest chip family that there are 500 million PCs out there that are five years old or older.

The effort comes as PC sales continue to decline as consumers put their money into other devices, including smartphones, TVs and tablets. PC sales are forecast to shrink by more than 8 percent and not stabilize until 2017, according to the latest forecast from IDC.

Intel and Microsoft are providing the bulk of the funds for this effort, but Dell, Lenovo and HP are also kicking in ad dollars.

Sources declined to say just how much is being spent, but one described it as a “sizable” campaign, commensurate with promoting a $300 billion per year industry.

The effort has also come together rather quickly over the last couple months, the sources said.

Representatives for the companies were not immediately available for comment.

Additional reporting by Arik Hesseldahl.

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