Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

New Microsoft Ads About Nothing - Unfortunately


Our Mike Schuster reviews much-hyped Seinfeld spot.

Critics are jeering the latest ad for Microsoft (MSFT), which features former CEO Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld -- the company's new $10 million golden boy -- wandering around a mall, talking about nothing.

And sweet fancy Moses, it's as inexplicable as an immigrant owning a pony.

The questionable spot kicks off a $300 million campaign to re-invigorate interest in the brand and distance the company from the Vista fiasco, and try to get a leg-up on Apple's (AAPL) highly successful "Mac versus PC" ads. Though with such an inauspicious start, Microsoft might have ended up wasting millions.

But it's probably a write-off for them. These big companies, they write-off everything.

In the ad, Seinfeld bumps into Gates shopping at a discount shoe store. Seinfeld intervenes and shows him how to break in his new "Conquistadors." Gates pays for the pair with a discount card featuring a photo of Gates in his infamous 1970s mugshot - perhaps the sole highlight of the ad. They leave the mall eating churros, and Seinfeld asks Gates if he has any big plans for the future of Microsoft. Gates responds by wiggling his butt at the camera.

He's out there, Jerry, and he's lovin' every minute of it!

However, between shoes, churros, and that thin layer of gabardine, no reference to Windows or its much-reviled Vista is mentioned in the 90-second ad. If it weren't for that hipster doofus Gates, no one would have any idea what the ad was promoting.

Then again, explicitly naming an operating system partly responsible for this year's 26% decline in share price would be a million-to-1 shot. Million to 1.

Brad Brooks, head of Windows marketing for Microsoft, claims this first ad in the campaign was never about glamor. He said Microsoft's idea was to "engage customers in a conversation and dialogue in a humorous and intriguing way."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. Many bloggers, who've been airing their grievances, complain about the long, meandering dialogue between the two, where a simpler, straightforward approach would have been vastly more effective.

Just like a Band-Aid: One motion. Right off!

Some suspect Microsoft's effort to appear hip and edgy like their main competitor had backfired the moment they hired Jerry Seinfeld as a spokesperson. They say a television star who peaked in the '90s and quickly faded away wasn't cut out to be the main pitchman for a software company struggling with a stale, outdated image.

But hey, there's always marine biology.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
Featured Videos