Intel – Ajay Bhatt Is A Rock Star

Intel has recently started running a new campaign in which it remakes the company’s top researchers into ‘rock stars.’ Well…. sort of at least. The man they show in the spot as Ajay Bhatt is really just an actor, however there IS a real Ajay Bhatt who, while working for IBM in the early 1990’s, played a key role in inventing USB (Universal Serial Bus). Intel had originally approached Ajay to ask for permission to feature him in their latest campaign, but according to Mr. Bhatt, he never really paid attention to what they were doing until he finally saw the completed promo on TV.

Taken from

Intel said it hopes eventually to have its employees play themselves in its ads, but for the first round wanted actors with the comic timing, experience — and time — to play the part.

In the ad, mustachioed, elegantly coifed actor Sunil Narkar plays Bhatt, who is cleanshaven and has a spare hairstyle. And the commercial’s futuristic, glassy workplace looks nothing like Intel’s fabric cubicle farms in Washington County.

The Real Ajay Bhatt

I thought that this was a clever campaign, though I would have rather liked the real Ajay Bhatt to star in it (shown in the above photo re-inacting one of the scenes from the spot). He’s hinted in recent interviews that he wasn’t too keen on becoming a ‘company pitchman,’ which may be the reason why he declined to make a cameo. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this campaign, it’s definitely an interesting way to try and connect the world-renound researchers with the Intel corporate branding.

San Francisco-based agency Venables Bell & Partners was responsible for this campaign. This spot alone has already received over 600,000 views in less than a week of being online.


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1 comment

  1. Brent — thanks for the shot out on the campaign. There were a lot of different teams and it was a ton of work, indeed.

    I just wanted to let you know we are giving away, well kinda, “Real” Ajay Bhatt t-shirts using Twitter and the #ajaybhatt hashtag. If you are interested, I’d love to fill you in on the details. I won’t leave the URL for spamming reasons.

    The idea actually came from several comments on our Youtube page as well as in the comments of a few other external blogs.

    Talk soon.

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