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.