Blog Post

Windows ad featuring Jerry Seinfield airs

Tonight Microsoft aired its first ad featuring Jerry Seinfield. The ad (including Seinfield) is part of a new $300 million ad campaign Microsoft has put together to try and breathe new life in to the Windows operating system.

The 90 second ad spot is comprised mainly of shoe-banter between Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfield in a Shoe Carnival where Gates is a “platinum member.”

Interestingly enough, only 20 of the 90 seconds really have anything to do with Microsoft or Windows and of those 20 seconds, no time is spent actually touting much about Windows except that it is “The Future” and “Delicious.”

Microsoft has hinted that the new ad campaign is, in some part, a response to Apple’s successful “Get A Mac” campaign.

Personally, I’m not convinced this is starting on the right foot. My wife initially saw the commercial this evening and her response was basically “I don’t get it.” It’s one thing to try to be “hip”, but it’s another thing to try but completely fail at getting your message across. The attempt at humor is a nice change, though.

Check the new ad out below and let me know what you think. Is it effective or does its message get blurred?

47 Responses to “Windows ad featuring Jerry Seinfield airs”

  1. Quite possible the biggest waste of marketing money I’ve ever seen. One of the wealthiest men in the world shopping at the cheapest shoe store??? Are they trying to say that their product is crap?

    I really expect more from Microsoft. When an advertisement leaves you confused, it will subliminally transfer to the product. In other words, Microsoft is confusing.

  2. I think they need to watch all of the “Get a Mac” commercials again to get an idea of what funny effective communication really is. Maybe Jerry is holding back on purpose cause if you ever watched his show you will notice there was a Mac on his desk!!!

  3. What makes the “Get A Mac” ads so effective (and beloved by many people) is that they are humorous and straightforward. This commercial is fairly humorous but not at all straightforward. In fact, I have no idea what they really want to get across to me. The one thing I took away from it is that Bill Gates wants computers that are delicious someday.

    As an ad, I think this first effort is pretty much a failure. If it’s not getting across a clear message to people in their first viewing without having to resort to reading comment threads on websites, I think it’s a failure. This is not me hating on Windows, Bill Gates, or Jerry Seinfield. This is me saying that their advertising agency didn’t make the message clear enough.

  4. It’s great to find out that I’m not the only one that hasn’t understood this add. I’m Spanish so I thought it was because of my English :-) but it seems that there’s no hidden message in the add.

  5. Torbjørn,

    Good point, but you kept getting a better and better OS throughout that time. The way things are looking, Vista’s going to languish for another two years, never even making it to “decent” before W7 comes out.

  6. IMO, a large part of the public will not only not understand the commercial, they won’t even watch it. Who’s going to stop to watch ” a shoe commercial” as they run to the frig for another cold one during a break?

    And few people, outside of the technology sector would recognize the MS flag.

    It’s embarrassing. Seinfield should have asked for more money.

  7. So, are they saying that if Windows doesn’t fit you, you buy the next version (size) up? And if it still doesn’t fit you can use it in the shower to make it fit? And even though Windows doesn’t fit you, you buy it anyway? What the hell, this is possibly the stupidest commercial ever.

  8. i don’t like seinfeld much and this is actually better than i thought it would be.

    interestingly it’s not about a single product – ti’s a brand identity campaign. i reckon they’re trying to have fun with their stuffy geeky image and provide an offbeat hey look we can be cool and off our rocker too vibe

    i think that’s just a teaser and they’ll progress towards more specific ads.

    apple ads may be accused of being smug, but they are effective at conveying their message. ms appears to be trying to be cute to shake off their image perception. Advertising sells and generates interest where there was none before perhaps, but a lousy product won’t sell. Apple’s best advertising are its products and the experience they provide – people who use them want others to use them too hence the fanaticism of the mac zealot.

  9. I saw this on the teevee last night and I thought it was sad. It was not funny, the intended message was not only unclear, it was completely absent, and it was actually a little embarrassing for all involved (including myself — damn my eyes!). The only point I thought it drove home successfully is that Apple is SO much better when it comes to marketing.

  10. Torbjørn Lunde

    Jeff: The cost of All the different OS X versions during the time Vista was developed is roughly equal to the high-end verions of Vista.

    In other words, they’re equally annoyingly expensive.

  11. The only thing I can get out of the ad is the “why pay more?” thing at the beginning: I think they’re trying to say that you can get something just as good for less money. Unfortunately, Windows costs considerably more than Mac OS, so if that *is* what they’re saying, they’ve just made an Apple ad.

  12. This ad was absurd! 10M to do that drek! The commercial made me want to re-install Vista about as much as it made me want to become a platinum member of Shoe Circus, or whatever.

    It is really sad when two middle aged chunky white guys try to be hip, and go down in flames. So pathetic, it is painful to watch.

  13. I love Seinfeld.
    I think Bill Gates has shown he is a good sport and it’s kind of “cute” to see him try to be funny.

    I even kind of like some of the Seinfeld-like banter.

    but, i also don’t get it.
    W. T. F. does this have to do with Windows, Microsoft, the next version, whatever

  14. I just dont understand. Maybe because I do not like Jerry Sinfeld but what are they saying? That what you really need is to have a mega star pick out your shoes? Or that we are all stupid in some way and there is someone to help? Or that the guy that is supposed to be an expert (the salesman) is shown up by some random guy that is pushy? Or that bill is bored now that he doesnt have much work to do?

  15. I read in Fast Company a few months ago about this new campaign and I feel like I have been waiting forever to see what they might come up with. I must say that this is just what I expected. It is nearly worthless. I wish you would have mentioned that there would be some derriere shaking of good ol’ Bill.

  16. Slade Hurd

    This commercial is absolutely the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I guess that just goes to show you Microsoft will go to any length to wast money trying to get someone to like their platform. This commercial just proves that they cant do anything right. I have wasted 90 seconds of my life. I mean they said nothing about windows at all until the end. I recommend they adopt this slogan: ” Windows, The Future, Under Cooked”. Ill be sticking to my mac with the Hip Mac guy and the dorky PC guy.