Intel UK has produced an infographic to show how it is contributing to Christmas. Its microprocessors are used for a variety of tasks, such as rendering movies, running web servers, and even powering the supercomputers that enabled Procter & Gamble to "optimize the aerodynamics of their potato crisps". Well, that's what the infographic says….
Of course, none of these things has any inherent connection to Christmas: web servers and server farms run all day every day throughout the year. None of them even has much of a connection with Intel: while an Intel processor may be a good choice for server buyers, the people consuming web pages can't tell whether they have been hosted on an Intel- or AMD- or Sun Sparc-based server. However, using Christmas to promote products and services is a long-hallowed tradition. The church has used it for centuries, and it's a bit late to start complaining about large corporations trying the same thing.
Infographics are a more recent trend. They're ideal for today's web, where a significant number of users are not very keen on reading anything longer than 100 words, or containing more than one thought. In any case, we all find it easier to take in a good visual display -- a chart, graph or, perhaps a diagram -- than columns of figures… but Intel's infographic doesn't actually do any of that. Intel Serves up Christmas has info and it has graphics, but apart from the odd logo, the graphics are for decoration.
But they key reason for doing infographics is their tendency to go "viral". They are easy to share with friends, and if enough people pass them on, they penetrate large populations far faster than Asian flu. A few blog posts, Facebook updates and tweets can disseminate the infographic message to millions of users at a zero marginal cost. It's certainly a lot cheaper than advertising.
Intel UK's Christmas infographic