AMD's Radeon RX 480 rollout will be accompanied with a new and unique "Uprising" campaign. In an interview with Forbes, graphics chief Raja Koduri explains some of the changes he's been making since the creation of the Radeon Technologies Group. Koduri acknowledges AMD was on the wrong path in the graphics card market, especially considering marketshare in the desktop channel was falling to the single digits as the company failed to compete effectively.
He and his team first pushed through initiatives to improve the quality and frequency of driver releases, as part of a broader directive to change public perception of the Radeon brand. The next step was to change the culture, to focus on the community first. Here's a brief overview of what the Radeon Technologies Group is up to:
1: Prestige. “They wanted the prestige of a $700 graphics card, but they didn’t want to have to pay for it,” Hook begins.
2: VR that just works. “They wanted the ability to have a great VR experience today or two years from now without worrying about upgrading power supplies and digging into their PC. They wanted to buy a headset at some point and just have it work.”
3: Respect their investment. “They wanted us to pay respect to the dollars they were giving us and do things in the architecture or transistors or APIs or ASync Compute, that provided a measure of ‘futureproofness.’ They wanted to be reassured that even if they’re only spending $200 they’d feel secure in their investment for a couple years.”
4: More overclocking control. “We brainstormed what kind of voltage control could be given to them to create a better experience.
5: Better drivers. “We feel we’ve made a great first step there, and we’re only going to be putting a heavier foot on the gas this year and next year to make those drivers better and better.”
The new "Uprising" ad campaign will be very different from what we're used to. The goal is to deliver protest-inspired posters with real-world accounts of "normal" gamers to amplify the narrative.
There will be no gameplay screenshots, no specifications, no models, no free game promises. Instead, the Radeon Technologies Group wants impress the gaming community witch catchy slogans like "The gaming revolution will be streamed", "VR is not just for the 1%", "Don't silence us, silence the GPU", "Join the Rebellion", "Give the people full control" and "Free our Async". All of this will be presented in a somewhat dated style and with a red and white color scheme that reminds me of the old Soviet propaganda.
AMD not only wants to spread these ads via social media and tech sites, but also pepper te streets with these posters. Furthermore, the article mentions AMD will seek more direct communication with its potential customers by reaching out to "dissenters" on forums and Reddit.
So will it just be banner ads and tweets? Nope. AMD wants to pepper the streets with these posters. They’ll be doing AMAs and giving consumers direct access to Raja Koduri and other executives, not just PR and marketing people. They’ll be personally reaching out to their dissenters on forums and Reddit and saying “I know you think we make hot and loud graphics cards, but that’s all changed now.”
“We’re hoping to make this not just an ad campaign, but a way of doing business going forward,” Hook offers near the close of our conversation.