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Microsoft/Seinfeld Commercial Airs to Collective 'Um, What?'

By - Source: Tom's Guide | B 20 comments

Last night saw the first airing of Microsoft’s Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign, and frankly, we are very confused.

The decision to hire Jerry Seinfeld to star alongside former CEO of Microsoft in a $300 million marketing campaign for Windows was largely seen as a way to combat Apple’s Mac/PC campaign. Seinfeld was reportedly paid $10 million for his part in the campaign and so far, feedback on the advert has been terrible.

People are confused, they don’t understand what it’s about, why it is what it is or how it’s supposed to change our opinion of Vista. Set in a shopping mall at a shoe shop called ‘Shoe Circus’, it sees Jerry Seinfeld aid Gates in the purchase of a pair of shoes. While we’re all agreed the questions from Jerry are pretty strange (“Have you ever worn clothes in the shower, Bill?”), what was more odd was that there hardly any mention of Microsoft at all.

While not everyone is agreed that Apple’s Mac versus PC ads are entertaining, at least they got the script right, “Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple”. Not to question the skills of Microsoft’s marketing team, but if you’re spending $300 million on a marketing campaign and not mentioning Vista, not even a recap of the Mojave experiment, then we’d be inclined to think it’s a little wasteful.

At the very end of the commercial (just when you’re thinking you couldn’t feel more awkward or confused), Seinfeld finally mentions Windows. “Are you ever going to come out with something that will make our computers moist and chewy like cake, so that we can just eat them while we’re working?” he asks. “If it’s yes, give me a signal, adjust your shorts.”

Gates does and this is the highlight of the commercial. That’s not to say seeing Bill Gates shaking his behind was enough to make me retract the “I want the last ninety seconds of my life back,” statement, but the comic relief helped. As did his $7 haircut and the notion that he shops at a discount shoe store. There it is people, Vista or shoes.

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  • 3 Hide
    wymer100 , September 5, 2008 6:39 PM
    $10mil for a commercial about nothing. Money well spent.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 6:48 PM
    really bad add to say the least. I don't understand who the target was.
  • 0 Hide
    neodude007 , September 5, 2008 7:30 PM
    WTF BBQ was that!??!? It was literally about nothing. Maybe the point is to get everybody that watched it to say "WTF" and look into Vista more? Errrr ok.
  • 0 Hide
    resonance451 , September 5, 2008 7:40 PM
    It didn't make much sense, but I found it funny for that reason. I guess it worked.
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , September 5, 2008 7:43 PM
    Well guess Jerry is once again making alot of money by recording something about nothing. Like Resonance451 I also found it funny how it had nothing to do with MS except that Billy was in it.
  • 1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 5, 2008 7:46 PM
    I suspect Microsoft's ad division has been infiltrated by Apple saboteurs.
  • 1 Hide
    DM0407 , September 5, 2008 7:56 PM
    And yet, here we all are discussing it, waiting for the next commercial to air.... Unorthodox but it did generate a buzz.
  • 0 Hide
    BallistaMan , September 5, 2008 8:18 PM
    First time I've seen this commercial...yeah I'm go with the whole "um , what?" thing. o_0
  • 1 Hide
    sojrner , September 5, 2008 8:36 PM
    I kinda dug it... unorthodox, odd... and the point is "the future", implying that while many things that have been done at m$ have not changed, "something" is in the works to make it all better.

    whether that is true or not remains to be seen... but If they had done anything close to old style they would have been ripped for being out of touch. Too much like an apple ad and they are "also-rans"... there is really no other direction they could have gone w/o getting completely slammed by reporters and us.

    kudos IMO.
  • 2 Hide
    frozenlead , September 5, 2008 9:00 PM
    ...in other words sojrner, this ad means absolutely nothing unless you analyze it to pieces, which, IMO, can be done to draw meaning out of a box of plastic spoons, too.

    I have one thing to say.


    FAIL.
  • 0 Hide
    kansur0 , September 5, 2008 9:25 PM
    Actually...it would have been great if he would have picked the shorts out of his ass (c). Now that would have been funny!

    It's too bad they don't have ribbons of shame in the U.S. like they do in Japan. If they did they would have applied many ribbons along with hard hitting blows with a stick of bamboo to anyone who had anything to do with this sad attempt at marketing shoes.

    Sell your shares...the SS Microsoft is taking on water and when it sinks is anyones guess.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 9:43 PM
    Actually, I rather liked it. No in-your-face garbage like most commercials. I find that I avoid products with slogans.
  • 1 Hide
    mtyermom , September 5, 2008 10:30 PM
    What I find pathetic, is that Microsoft is spending this $300 million on an ineffective ad campaign to an uninterested audience, when it should be putting this money into further development and improvement of the existing product. Talk about too much money and not knowing how to spend it....
  • 1 Hide
    petevsdrm , September 5, 2008 11:30 PM
    I actually thought it was pretty funny. I think everyone expected it to be about how great vista is, or at least trashing apple, so they made an ad about shoes. It creates buzz and throws everyone's preconceptions off so you don't know what to expect from the next ad. What I would have hated is an ad showing off the great features of vista. I think everyone would have ignored that anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 6, 2008 3:34 AM
    I thought the ad was pretty funny but started to fizzle at the end. Not sure how it is supposed to be an advertisement about Vista when the word Vista isn't spoken or doesn't appear even once. Either way here we are talking about it... so I guess it was at least quasi effective.
  • 1 Hide
    apoq , September 6, 2008 7:33 PM
    Geez, MS got screwed with this ad. How the hell do you accept to pay 10 million bucks for this?
  • -2 Hide
    SuckRaven , September 6, 2008 8:32 PM
    I watched this trash twice...(you can start boo-ing me now =)...The first time I sat there in anticipation, waiting for at least something funny, but no...the entire time I just sat there, expressionless, blinking more frequently than usual at irregular intervals. The second time was because I got frightened that I had somehow totally lost my sense of humor. I mean don't get me wrong, I like dry humor, and while I don't find Jerry Seinfeld to be particularly laugh-till-it-hurts-funny, I was sort of hoping a cool 10 mil would have bought Micro$oft at least a chuckle or two from viewers instead of the prevailing confusion and resounding WTFs. I mean s*it, for 10 mil, they could have me shove a Vista installation disc up the Mac guy's ass...literally. I think more people would want to see that.

    Too much $$$ and not knowing what to do with it is right.

    The saddest thing is, Micro$oft has probably just shot themselves in the foot, by not immediately giving people sitting on the fence between Mac OS X and Vista a definitive reason to switch. Instead, they have confused people even more as to why they should even bother caring.

    F this...I do need a new pair of running shoes tho. Thanks Micro$oft.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2008 9:13 AM
    Mr. William is a bad actor. Hi is like saying "I don't care about Microsoft or Windows anymore, why are you making me do it?"
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2008 3:01 PM
    A lot of the folks here probably don't like subtlety, are too impatient to allow a story to be creatively told, have a higher opinion of their advertising know-how than they deserve, and like to complain about Microsoft.

    When an unconventional ad appears on one's television, should we not rejoice? No? Why not? I guess being open to new experiences is odious to many.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2008 6:55 PM
    I'd wager they're trying to go diametrically opposite the uber-geek-chic Mac vs PC adds. I mean, what fraction of computer buyers identify with slim, hip, unshaven Mac and what fraction identify with chubby, unhip PC buyer? Being uber-hip can sometimes be a no-no in the large US market.
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