Microsoft recruits Jerry Seinfeld to promote Windows

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

It seems that all that “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertising by Apple has finally pissed off Microsoft to the point where they feel the need to get some payback.   So they have signed up Jerry Seinfeld to joke around with Bill Gates in a series of adverts for which he will be paid a cool $10 million.   Joke around with Bill?   Does Bill Gates do humor?

The hope is that finally Microsoft can bury the stuffy “I’m a PC” suit guy that Apple has built up in their adverts and promote Windows as the “cool operating system”.    Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but there is apparently lots of optimism over at Redmond that they can pull it off.   Well with Jerry and Bill, the two jokers, getting it together, who knows what can be accomplished eh?!

What do you think?   Can Seinfeld do the impossible and make Windows look totally drop dead cool?   Or is Microsoft throwing $10 million down the toilet?

[Via Guardian Media]

5 Responses to Microsoft recruits Jerry Seinfeld to promote Windows

  1. funny how Jerry Seinfeld in the apartment of his tv show was always an Apple consumer, he even had the very rare 20th anniversary mac. FAIL

  2. Can Seinfeld Save Microsoft Vista?

    The answer is NO.

    The other thing worth saying is that Microsoft, despite rumors to the contrary, is not dead and doesn’t need to be saved. Sure, it’s not performing like it used to and is under attack by Google and Apple. Even with all that, Microsoft is still a ridiculously profitable and massive franchise.

    That also doesn’t mean all is good on the Mister Softee front. For this reason, they’re looking to change up their image and battle the ridiculously effective Mac vs. PC ads and combat the stigma and public outcry that their latest operating system, Vista, has brought out.

    Their efforts to do this have, as the WSJ reported, resulted in Microsoft unveiling a $300 million ad campaign for Microsoft Vista. The ads will feature Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates with the tagline “Windows not Walls”. They’ve also released the Mojave Experiment which features informal “blind taste tests” of people using Vista and shows them being pleasantly surprised by its performance. The marketing push is being received with mixed response as expected in anything as subjective as a brand campaign.

    I’ve not seen the ads yet, but here’s why this isn’t a good idea based on my own earlier review.

    Let’s tackle the individual elements.

    Mojave Experiment

    * These taste tests look contrived. Plain and simple, they are not believable. Why would anyone believe that these are genuine or that they just didn’t omit the bad reviews? I’ve watched about 20 of the mini-clips and most show people getting entirely too excited about an operating system. Sorry, I’m a skeptic.

    * The fact that you need a Vista expert sitting next to you showing you how to use the program is proof of the problem. People want software that is easy to use.

    Seinfeld & Gates Ads – Windows Not Walls

    * While brand advertising does work, the problem is not just that Apple did a great job ridiculing Windows. It’s that Apple’s OS seems to just be a better product as evidenced by the legions of rabid fans Apple has attracted. (note: I’m a loyal but often-annoyed Windows user)

    * More importantly, Apple’s better product has created an emotional connection with users. And what Microsoft looks to be doing is creating a rational argument for why their product is better (Mojave is but one example). That’s a tough road to go down.

    * Apple is the cool, hip brand. As funny as Jerry Seinfeld is, he doesn’t scream hip. His show, while hilarious, may not even be known to many in the Apple demographic. Not to mention that his prior pitchman record isn’t so stellar. His ads with my alma mater, American Express, were entertaining but didn’t really motivate you to get an AmEx card.

    * The Windows Not Walls tagline is very corporate. Apple is un-corporate. Un-corporate is in.

    Microsoft has a ton of cash and so $300 million is not going to break the bank. The fundamental issue in this case is whether this is the right investment or resource allocation decision for the company. $300 million would go far in actually creating better offerings that get customers excited and talking.

    Great brands are ultimately created by when people are talking about you and not by you talking about yourself.


    Anand Sanwal


  3. That's a hell of a comment! I was just going to make some glib remark about Seinfeld being funny 10 years ago… but now I just feel inadequate…

  4. Bill's obviously going to play the straight man.

    Maybe MS isn't after the Apple crowd yet. Maybe picking Seinfeld is their way of saying "Baby Boomers, don't leave us!"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.