Intel Now Inside DC’s Metro Map

on March 23, 2012 at 7:57 AM

Washington area Metro riders may be wondering who changed the names of all of their metro stops. If they work in federal IT, that’s just the reaction executives at electronics giant, Intel, are hoping for.

Intel created an altered version of Washington’s Metro subway map as part of a new advertising campaign in Washington that is catching attention with the region’s riders on the way to work.

Intel, whose microprocessors power most of the federal government’s computers, is a well-known name in Washington business and government circles.

But when it comes to IT security, few federal information technology executives tend to think of Intel right away, much to Nigel Ballard‘s dismay. Ballard is director of federal marketing for Intel Americas.

That’s in spite of the fact that Intel spent $7.7 billion last year to acquire McAfee, considered by some measures to be the world’s largest computer and software security company.

So Ballard went underground, so to speak, to develop a regional media campaign that combines a highly visible graphic design–one that has become iconic to the world, not just Washington Metro riders–and infusing it with references to IT security.

“We wanted to let people know that Intel now provides a secure chain of operation from our hardware through to our software,” he told AOL Government.

Intel purchased the rights for the original art showing the actual DC Metro line layout, according to Ballard. His marketing team then tweaked the station names, using the names of arcane, but widely recognized government IT acronymns, such as FISMA (for Federal Information Security Management Act) and FIPS (for Federal Information Processing Standards) as well as the names of Intel and McAfee products.

The result is a playful nod to those in the know in the government IT security world, including a surprise tribute to a designer many in Washington might not know. (Hint: Look in the Potomac River.)

The new adulterated Metro maps (like the one below) have been placed in the interiors of a third of DC Metro trains, in illuminated DC bus shelters, and in variety of trade and social media outlets frequented by federal IT executives.