Unlike the Mac vs. PC ads that have such broad appeal, the Seinfeld/Gates commercials deserve mention only for the money spent and their lack of funny. If this campaign is meant to attract the young and hip, Microsoft has missed the mark.
Jerry and Bill have only served to cement Microsoft as typical of the character portrayed by John Hodgman of Mac vs. PC fame. The “big headed” minds (see Burger King ads) of those designing this campaign only confirm that Jerry and Bill are both loaded to the gills, donâ€™t relate, and have nothing in common with most of us. That’s not funny, it just true. Seinfeld had its run but its been over for a while now and the current Jerry doesnâ€™t do much but collect cars and remind people of his past success. (Larry King Interview) Oh, I almost forgot the Bee movie.
Bill, while interesting in interviews, has the humor of a shark attack. The ad was released on a Thursday and was immediately followed by Microsoft calling reporters on Friday to explain the ad. Any comedian knows that if you have to explain it, it didn’t work.
Perhaps the Crispin, Porter, and Bogusky ad agency responsible for this mess, can put together something about Jerry being a flip-flopper. Yes, you heard me, flip-flopper. Take a look at this Apple ad using a clip of Jerry to sell Mac. Obviously money is the driving force for Jerry, but that seems to be what MS wants to emphasize.
“Wouldn’t it be great to put two rich and powerful people, however awkward and painful, together in one commercial?” The answer, of course, is “No”.
The truth is that Intel canâ€™t ignore Macs recent successful ads and needs to stop some of the bleeding caused by poor consumer perception and a chronically unpopular operating system. Vista and poor acceptance go hand in hand. Whether the recent SP1 release has helped it’s functionality might be debatable but the preception by the general public is still the same.
Sorry Microsoft it just doesnâ€™t play. Spend some of those billions on a therapist to find out why you canâ€™t put together a successful ad campaign.
Lots-o-Money but you Got-no-Funny.
* As an added footnote Microsoft announced that it was pulling the Seinfeld/Gates commercials as we were sending this newsletter. Smart move MS.