Second Seinfeld Microsoft Ad Airs; What?

27 Comments

So when the first ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates aired, I was mildly confused and more than anything really wanted to give it a chance. But this evening Microsoft aired the second ad in the series and now I’m really just flat out baffled by Microsoft’s decisions with this ad campaign.

This particular ad has a full-length four and half minute version (below), and in keeping with the theme from the first ad, mere 5 seconds of the 270 available are used to mention anything about Microsoft or Windows.

Microsoft, bail out now before you confuse people even more.

27 Comments

vanni

These ads are funny! They are well written. and they are well done. I agree with nikolaus heger and as Mike Dammann said (and as i mentioned after the first one) theses ads are a series and there will a conclusion that drives home their point. In fact I think these ads are much funnier than the Mac and PC guys of late. Those were funny at first … now they have gotten lame. Even as a Mc user they embarrass me.

Mike Dammann

It’s confusing? You think this end is the end? You guys don’t think this is gearing towards something none of us expect?

Get real!

~ Mike Dammann

A.B. Dada

I understood both commercials immediately. They’re so off-the-wall that media people (old media and new media alike) are scratching their heads while they talk about it publicly.

Absolutely any free conversation on a marketing campaign is good for the brand. It doesn’t matter if it’s negative publicity, positive or confusion, it’s still publicity.

Excellent move on Microsoft’s part. I hope commercial #3 is Seinfeld and Gates sleeping in bed together: absolutely no conversation, barely any light, maybe a few different camera angles on S&G with Seinfeld snoring in the background and Gates tossing and turning because of it. Let it be closer to a Warhol film than an Apple commercial and even MORE people will talk about it.

Inane = different in the world of branding.

John Davis

I couldn’t get through it. After a minute or so, I switched it off in total confusion.

What is that?

Then I read an “analysis” of it, pointing out the allusions to Mac and so on.

I hadn’t seen any of that.

Pity Ballmer isn’t in it. That might liven things up a little, charging around the set, snorting and steaming like an asthmatic bull, tossing chairs in every direction.

Good stuff.

Yours sincerely,

John Davis

nikolaus heger

I enjoyed the ad. I thought Gates was lovable and Seinfeld was funny.

Guess what? That’s exactly what these ads are supposed to convey. Gates stands for Windows, and we can see that he’s shopping at some thrifty shoe store, and doing silly stuff – and making fun of himself. I still think Vista is crap and a step in the wrong direction. I still use a MacBook Pro. But make no mistake: These commercials are genius.

Tim

not ms bashing

Watching this didn´t induce upon myself the usual nauseating symptoms I´d associate with 99% of other advertisements. I say fair play to them for lining broadcaster´s pockets with something that´s somewhat watchable.

James Katt

Messages from the Commercial:
1. Windows is DYSFUNCTIONAL – HORRIBLY SO.
2. Windows (Bill Gates) is CHEAP, MEAN, and STEALS (not paying the pizza guy, stealing the giraffe from the family).
3. Windows has BUGS and MALWARE (the crazy grandmother).
4. Windows DOES NOT CARE and LEAVES CRAP (toenail clippings and gunk in your bedroom).
5. Windows WORSENS THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE, making you also DYSFUNCTIONAL.

Jerry Seinfeld made hundreds of millions of dollars with a comedy series about very dysfunctional people – who were in the end sent to jail for the meanness and cruelty they show to other people.

If you want to equate Windows with this type of humor, then all it does it give you a very negative feeling about Windows.

Bravo, Microsoft! Heh heh heh.

Josh Pigford

@david: I actually didn’t say that I “don’t like it”. I said I was baffled. And honestly, that’s it. I don’t dislike the ads, I just don’t get them at all and don’t see where they are going with this thing.

david

Josh,

Give us some substance on why you don’t like it. Anyone can critic, with a platform like The Apple Blog, I expect more.

Eytan

I actually thought it was pretty funny. Did not do a good job in so far as selling Microsoft, but definitely had me laughing more than once…

Sriram

I am an Apple Boy myself, but I think we should give Microsoft the benefit of doubt. I agree that these ads seem pointless at the moment. But then, maybe, just maybe, they will pull a rabbit out of the hat and connect these ads at some point in the future. At which point, we will be floored. After all, these guys aren’t the world’s biggest software company for nothing. So let’s wait until we pas judgement.

Zippy

Bill and Jerry to the delivery boy: “I got nothing.” “Have a Greek coin.” That was funny.

Jeff

Well, I saw the short version last night, along with my wife. I knew what it was and thought is was just a bit creepy and weird. My wife asked me “what the hell was that?” after the commercial was over. I had to explain the first commercial and what (I think) they were trying to do with the second commercial. Needless to say, she thought it was NOT an effective ad or campaign idea and she asked if it was done by the same people who did the Jackass movie. Ouch.

BTW, my wife is in her mid-40’s and had completely forgotten who Seinfeld was and didn’t recognize Gates.

paul robinson

I think this 4 1/2 minute video was a riot! It reminds me of Paris Hilton and gal pal (Nicole Ritchie, sp.?) doing the simple life and living with “real” people. Jerry and Bill, particularly, are so understated in this that their funny just being there. And grandma is a hoot!

Sure, it has nothing to do with Vista, declining Microsoft fortunes, Windows, etc., but it still shows that the two guys have a sense of a humor!

Pchin

Unfortunately, most people really miss what is happening here. This ad series represent nothing more than a very rich boy finally getting his way through his money. Bill loves the Seinfeld series and always wanted to be on the show. Shows gone but that doesn’t mean money can’t buy it back. This is Bill’s way of being on Seinfeld and hoping to promote a dying product. But as many say above, it’s telling the consumer that they, Microsoft, are just as out of touch with the average consumer as the rich are.

If nothing else, we can thank Bill for stimulating the economy with their $300M campaign.

Peter Garner

I agree with #4. The ads are doing what they are meant to do, AND, I thought this one was funny (as opposed to the last one). I’m actually looking forward to the next one. Much to my shock, Bill and Jerry are good together. This, from a long-time Mac user. I won’t be switching to Windows, and I’m not sure the ads will do much to stop the bleeding, but they are entertaining.

Michael

What a bizarre ad, I’m not even sure of the point the ad is trying to make. Its good to see a coupe of old people make fools of themselves but really. Find a good ad company and come back with something worthwhile.

bjzaba

These ads have a negative feeling to them, only worsening Microsoft’s image. Its one thing to get people talking, but they have to be talking in a positive way for it to do any good.

cmfnyc

Ouch. At this point, I think only George Costanza can save this thing. Here’s how it could happen: After airing 30 minutes worth of these scattered, vapid spots, the final one reveals George Costanza to be the creative genius (guru, actually) behind everything. We go back in time to a pitch meeting where George, masquerading as Art Vandelay ad executive, explains to Gates: “No, really, Bill, I can sense the slightest human suffering.” And Jerry responds, “Are you sensing it right now?”

On another note, am I the only one who feels that the logo and tagline go by too fast when the ads play on TV? If I didn’t know that Microsoft was launching a campaign with Jerry Seinfeld, I might miss it entirely. I think they assume everyone recognizes Bill Gates. Yes, most everyone know his name, but I’m not sure as many could pick him out in a lineup of middle aged men.

So in the end, it seems like these ads are aimed at geeks who are geek’d about Microsoft and love seeing Bill Gates (even if he makes a fool of himself).

Paul Armstrong

The point of the ad isn’t to sell Vista; the point of the ad is to get people to talk about the ad and pay attention to Microsoft. Hey look! It’s working–we’re doing exactly what they want.

John Keogh

What were you saying before starting with “So when”? And how baffled are you -really, flat-out or just? I know, you’re confused by the advertisement.

Michael

Several random thoughts about this:
1) I felt sick after watching that
2) 4m30s of “advertising” is not advertising, its a soap opera
3) Even if the end says MS is all about “Perpetually Connecting” people, the only message I got was that the clip that billg has absolutely no clue about what consumers want or engaging in understanding them, eventually being evicted from their own consumerbase.
4) The very last part about Billg doing the robot dance made me cringe, and think back to the Get A Mac advert where one of PC’s mates repeats endlessly, then PC says “Someone please reboot him”
5) All in all, seems these ads are just a re-affirmation that they’re doing everything wrong, and still think its funny (at the expense of consumers)

MacRat

Microsoft. We are so full of money that we don’t care what we waste it on.

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