Intel has a new director of creative innovation: Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Why not? Polaroid has Lady Gaga as its creative director. I think of this as sort of corporate spokesperson 2.0.
Will.i.am, sporting his new Intel employee badge, was introduced at an internal sales and marketing conference. Apparantly, this is for real. The Grammy winning hip hop artist will be tasked with helping Intel to develop laptops, smartphones and tablets with features that have a more youthful appeal.
It might work. After all, Lady Gaga made a decent show for Polaroid just last month at CES. By all accounts, she has been more than a token creative drirector and personally showed off a new line of gadgets that she had a major role in developing.
However, here's what Will.i.am will have to do to prove himself in order to be a suc.cess at Intel:
1. That's he's really a director of creative innovation. Being a director of creative innovation sounds like a full-time job to me. Will.i.am already has a full-time job. Are we really to presume that he's dropping his music and acting career? He will have to do more than appear in commercials and allow his name to be put on the outside of gadgets with stickers that say "Intel Inside".
2. Be forever young. Will.i.am and The Blackeyed Peas were first a 90s band. He's just on the back half of his thirties. Intel has hired him to rope in the youngsters. Why not get someone who is really young and will be young for quite some time to come (please, just not Justin Beiber). Will.i.am has apparantly signed a multi-year deal. While he may have a good beat on what young people really want in their technology products; does he have the street cred to win the hearts and minds of the millenials.
3. Deliver the goods. He will need to actually create and innovate products that are clearly his baby. He will have to be more than a "fan of technology." I'm a fan of college football. You don't see the University of Texas snapping me up to fill some of these holes on its coaching staff, do you?
Last updated: Jan 26, 2011
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio