06:47 AM

Intel's Ambitious 'Creators Project' - Can Great Curation Build Brand?

(Photos by Tom Foremski)

... Intel teams up with the cool crowd.

I recently attended The Creators Project in San Francisco, a globe-roaming two day free event that celebrates an eclectic mix of avant-garde music and arts installations, and attracted tens of thousands of people.

It could have easily been re-named " The Curators Project" because of the superb collection of bands, artists, installations, and even food trucks -- all carefully selected by a small team of curators.

The event is produced as a partnership between Intel and Vice Media.

I spoke with David Haroldsen, (above) Intel's Creative Director for the project. Here are some of my notes:

-The Creators Project is completely funded by Intel. The budget is not disclosed but it is in the "multi-millions" of dollars.

- Intel is committed to keeping The Creators Project going. (It is now in its third year, which means that Intel has extended its original three-year commitment.)

- Intel had been watching the rise of Vice Media for some time before approaching it with an offer to partner on producing the Creators Project events.

- The events have been held in New York, London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and Beijing.

- Intel is keen on promoting the interface between technology and the arts. Performance is somewhat intangible, just like Intel's technology.

- The Creators Project began with informal discussions with Vice Media in 2009 and launched in 2010.

- The San Francisco event attracted more than 45,000 people who joined a lottery for 10,000 free tickets for Saturday, where all the music was featured, top groups such as The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and top DJs plus electronic music genius Squarepusher - his first live show in 7 years. Sunday was free to attend but there was no music.

- More than 2,200 photos were shared online on Twitter and Instagram on the first day, and it was the #3 trending topic in the San Francisco Bay area. Total attendance for the weekend was more than 25,000 people.

- I mentioned that there were very few Intel logos visible at the event (see above) and they were very small. Mr Haroldsen said that the young demographic that the event attracts doesn't like to be marketed to, so Intel keeps its presence muted so as to be respectful of the audience.

- Despite the low key visibility of Intel, focus groups held after the events show a very high awareness of Intel and its role. (However, attendees only had to remember two brands, Intel and Vice.)

- Intel considers The Creators Project as very successful in meeting its goals. And it loves the "Intel- Vice" co-branding.

- Intel has no interest in allowing other companies or brands to be involved and help finance the event.

- The funding for the event also helps support a very active website, which has become a great showcase for artists and musicians from around the world. (I discovered lots of great music such as Korean three piece Idiotape.)

- Mr Haroldsen has a very active role and helps to curate the content of The Creators Project and he travels around the world discovering and meeting artists and musicians. I joked that he's never going to go back to Intel.