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TheStreet Open House

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Jan. 28

4. Intel Seeks the Essence of Cool

Intel (INTC - Get Report) showed off its new "director of creative innovation" earlier this week, none other than Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am. The multi-platinum artist and producer, responsible for such classics as Boom Boom Pow, is now taking product endorsement to a whole new level, courtesy of Intel.

The chip giant may be enjoying strong demand for its products but this is clearly not enough for CEO Paul Otellini (aka paul.i.am) and his crew. Intel wants to inject itself with a serious dose of cool.

Is this really necessary? I mean, what's not sexy about 32-nanometer chip technology, motherboards and embedded processors?

Cue will.i.am, who turned up at an Intel conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday shamelessly sporting a company ID badge.

"Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help amplify my own creativity," trilled the seven-time Grammy winner. "Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing."

Amazing for his bank balance, no doubt. The Black Eyed Peas are no strangers to tech endorsements and will.i.am is already a high-profile BlackBerry enthusiast while Research In Motion's (RIMM) forthcoming Playbook tablet even made a guest appearance in a recent Peas' music video.

As for Intel, signing up will.i.am highlights the company's desperate desire to catch up with the likes of iPhone maker Apple (AAPL) in the consumer market. In addition to providing new music for Intel, will.i.am will collaborate on devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, it said.

At the end of the day, though, it will be products, not glitzy celebrity endorsements, that stake Intel's claim in smartphones and tablets. Unless, that is, will.i.am, is hard at work in the Intel labs helping develop the new Medfield chip ...

TheStreet Says: We take it Fergie wasn't available, or is she allergic to nerds?



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