Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad

So the first work from Crispin Porter + Bogusky breaks for Microsoft.

Seems eerily similar to the work done for American Express with Jerry Seinfeld.

Microsoft’s VP of Online Services & Windows Business Group talks about the ads telling a story. Here’s the problem with story telling via TV; the story has to be interesting and told inside of the alloted time in the spot. If this is supposed to be chapter 1 and we are to wait for chapter 2, 3, 4, etc. to be released in the future; we have a problem. Progressive and episodic story telling doesn’t work for TV. It does work online; case in point BMW Films. I really want the campaign to be great. I’m a Windows fan and a Microsoft advocate. However, right now, the McCann work looks a hell of a lot better.

  • Him Jiggins

    EXACTLY my thoughts when I saw that. They’ve got nothing to say. They just want to be funny so, what better way then to be funny about “nothing”… get Seinfeld… just like the AMEX ads. Weak.

    … I guess it gets people talking about Microsoft right? But, are they talking about Microsoft like they talk about Apple? Maybe if they distract us with the Bill Gates sideshow, we will forget what a miserable failure Vista and IE7 were…. “Hey, have you heard about IE8? Apparently, it does a better job of rendering CSS properly. It’s almost as good as Firefox 1 now. Awesome! Wait till you see the sequel… Vista Strikes Back”

  • Him Jiggins

    EXACTLY my thoughts when I saw that. They’ve got nothing to say. They just want to be funny so, what better way then to be funny about “nothing”… get Seinfeld… just like the AMEX ads. Weak.

    … I guess it gets people talking about Microsoft right? But, are they talking about Microsoft like they talk about Apple? Maybe if they distract us with the Bill Gates sideshow, we will forget what a miserable failure Vista and IE7 were…. “Hey, have you heard about IE8? Apparently, it does a better job of rendering CSS properly. It’s almost as good as Firefox 1 now. Awesome! Wait till you see the sequel… Vista Strikes Back”

  • http://knol.google.com/k/david-blomstrom/bill-gates/1i6e04re3w2kp/4# David Blomstrom

    This is another example of Bill Gates and his handlers thinking they’re smarter than they really are. In their pathetic attempt to manipulate us little people, they’ve gone so far over our heads, it’s hard to tell what planet they’re on.

    Learn more about the world’s most famous lunatic on the “knol” Bill Gates: A Critical Biography.

  • http://knol.google.com/k/david-blomstrom/bill-gates/1i6e04re3w2kp/4# David Blomstrom

    This is another example of Bill Gates and his handlers thinking they’re smarter than they really are. In their pathetic attempt to manipulate us little people, they’ve gone so far over our heads, it’s hard to tell what planet they’re on.

    Learn more about the world’s most famous lunatic on the “knol” Bill Gates: A Critical Biography.

  • http://www.thekmiecs.com adamkmiec

    I think it’s actually more about Crispin thinking they’re smarter than they are. Microsoft did the only they could; they fired McCann and hired the so called change agents at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. No CMO ever get fired for hiring the “top” agency.

    The reality is with Microsoft’s dominate market share, they could screw up for the next 5 years with their advertising, but release a new version of Windows and a new version Office and be set.

    To me the real question is, will Microsoft be as smart as Nike and simply agree to disagree with Crispin.

  • Adam

    I think it’s actually more about Crispin thinking they’re smarter than they are. Microsoft did the only they could; they fired McCann and hired the so called change agents at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. No CMO ever get fired for hiring the “top” agency.

    The reality is with Microsoft’s dominate market share, they could screw up for the next 5 years with their advertising, but release a new version of Windows and a new version Office and be set.

    To me the real question is, will Microsoft be as smart as Nike and simply agree to disagree with Crispin.

  • Warne

    I think it is too soon to really make much of a judgment of this ad or its affects. I understand it is tough to tell a story with commercial episodes via TV. With that said I think we have to look at all the problems Microsoft faces. The two obvious and big ones are; 1. Brand image problem 2. Vista Product Image problem.

    These are two big problems that I don’t think can be fixed with one great commercial. To me it appears that the Crispin understands this and is trying to ease into it. So it looks like they created an ad that has the goal of not coming across as overly hardworking and trying to solve all the problems in 30 seconds which could have completely turned off the general public.

    When I viewed the ad I took away 2 things:
    1. With the first line “Shoe Circus, quality shoes at discount prices, Bill Gates” I took it as Microsoft is trying to tell me that there are places that you can get quality products for cheap prices, and why wouldn’t you want to purchase a product like that. It seems that indirectly they are comparing Microsoft with Apple. With that one line I heard…Microsoft sells a quality product at a much lower cost than you can get if you go with Apple.
    2. The ad then goes into talking about how the quality shoe needs some time to be broken in and that Bill should try them on for size. To me I viewed that as their attempt to indirectly say “sure at first Vista has some issues but try it on for size and give it time to be broken in and you will enjoy the quality of it.”

    From there the ad goes into the silly ending that probably leads to more but I feel it was an interesting way to start a campaign slowly, get some interesting general product selling points across and it gave the public something to talk about but not so much so that there is a huge up roar or backlash.

    I don’t know if it is perfect or the way I would have done it but I think with this campaign it is still a little too soon to tell or judge too much.

  • Warne

    I think it is too soon to really make much of a judgment of this ad or its affects. I understand it is tough to tell a story with commercial episodes via TV. With that said I think we have to look at all the problems Microsoft faces. The two obvious and big ones are; 1. Brand image problem 2. Vista Product Image problem.

    These are two big problems that I don’t think can be fixed with one great commercial. To me it appears that the Crispin understands this and is trying to ease into it. So it looks like they created an ad that has the goal of not coming across as overly hardworking and trying to solve all the problems in 30 seconds which could have completely turned off the general public.

    When I viewed the ad I took away 2 things:
    1. With the first line “Shoe Circus, quality shoes at discount prices, Bill Gates” I took it as Microsoft is trying to tell me that there are places that you can get quality products for cheap prices, and why wouldn’t you want to purchase a product like that. It seems that indirectly they are comparing Microsoft with Apple. With that one line I heard…Microsoft sells a quality product at a much lower cost than you can get if you go with Apple.
    2. The ad then goes into talking about how the quality shoe needs some time to be broken in and that Bill should try them on for size. To me I viewed that as their attempt to indirectly say “sure at first Vista has some issues but try it on for size and give it time to be broken in and you will enjoy the quality of it.”

    From there the ad goes into the silly ending that probably leads to more but I feel it was an interesting way to start a campaign slowly, get some interesting general product selling points across and it gave the public something to talk about but not so much so that there is a huge up roar or backlash.

    I don’t know if it is perfect or the way I would have done it but I think with this campaign it is still a little too soon to tell or judge too much.

  • http://www.thekmiecs.com adamkmiec

    John

    Good feedback; this is what I wrote a couple of days after the initial post: http://www.noahbrier.com/archives/2008/09/seinfeld_gates_microsoft.php

    “All you need to do is look at Google Insights.

    CP+B’s big belief is they want people talking about brands. Sure, us on the cutting edge or in the biz are talking about it. but, what about the rest of the USA. not so much.

    I don’t think you can judge the merits of a campaign on one ad alone. However, I also think the concept of telling stories across multiple ads is useless and wastes dollars. If this was supposed to re-introduce us to Microsoft and the next ad move the introduction forward, I don’t think we’ll see success.”

    I agree with your #1 and #2, but I think we’re smarter than the average consumer…we’re also in the business of advertising. My in-laws, thought the ad was for a new Seinfeld show :)

  • Adam

    John

    Good feedback; this is what I wrote a couple of days after the initial post: http://www.noahbrier.com/archives/2008/09/seinfeld_gates_microsoft.php

    “All you need to do is look at Google Insights.

    CP+B’s big belief is they want people talking about brands. Sure, us on the cutting edge or in the biz are talking about it. but, what about the rest of the USA. not so much.

    I don’t think you can judge the merits of a campaign on one ad alone. However, I also think the concept of telling stories across multiple ads is useless and wastes dollars. If this was supposed to re-introduce us to Microsoft and the next ad move the introduction forward, I don’t think we’ll see success.”

    I agree with your #1 and #2, but I think we’re smarter than the average consumer…we’re also in the business of advertising. My in-laws, thought the ad was for a new Seinfeld show :)

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