September 8, 2008 The Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld advertisement has received a somewhat bemused and (understandably) confused response after hitting the airwaves late last week. The main point of contention, apart from the sheer awkwardness of the clip, seems to be the lack of direct hard-sell on Microsoft products, then again, can anyone explain the relationship between most McDonald's commercials and hamburgers?
Microsoft itself even felt compelled to offer an explanation:
"After seeing the new ad from Microsoft, which debuted today, some may wonder what Jerry Seinfeld helping Bill Gates pick out a new pair of shoes has to do with software. The answer, in the classic Seinfeld sense of the word, is nothing. Nevertheless, the spot is the first and most visible sign of an ambitious effort by Microsoft’s Windows business to reconnect with consumers around the globe. The new campaign will highlight how Windows has become an indispensible part of the lives of a billion people around the globe -- not only on PCs but also now online and via mobile devices..." full text here.
We're OK with the whole subliminal / make the audience feel good about your brand by stealth approach, its just that to achieve this it really needs to be funny and engaging - it aint. But, apparently it did make an impact on YouTube's most viewed list and discussions are all over the web, which isn't a half bad way to start a campaign these days, no matter the content.
Noel McKeegan / Tim Hanlon