I definitely get that Microsoft is looking to re-brand itself with a $300-million advertising campaign.

I kind of get that Microsoft hired Jerry Seinfeld to jump-start it.

I sort of get they’re paying him $10-million.

I do not get the videos featuring Seinfield and Bill Gates, particularly this one. That said, I do find them funny, especially Gates, who may have found a new post-Microsoft career.

I’d like to get it but I can’t. Am I missing something? TechCrunchh has questions as well.

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  • PRJack

    part of me says ‘it’s about how establishing connections with people takes more than just being with them, it requires insight, attention and understanding’.

    The other part of me says ‘Who care?! These are great! Funnier than the actual Seinfeld show and way better than those wretched “Hi I’m a Mac” ads.

  • Mark Evans

    True, they are funny. Seinfeld is Seinfeld but Gates may have discovered a post-MSFT career if he gets bored with working in Redmond.

  • Geoff

    Unlike every blogger in the known universe (sorry Mark)I don’t care what the point is. They’re funny and entertaining. When it ended I wanted to watch it again.

    As the series progresses, we’ll start to see a point coalescing around what a great thing MS is. Unlike every sitcom on the air today, we would frequently wait for the last couple of minutes for a Seinfeld episode to come together – and, of course, sometimes they never did.

    People need to stop analyzing every scene cut and just enjoy the entertainment. The message will come. (for $300M it had better!)

  • Mark Evans

    @ Geoff,

    Fair enough. You make a good point in point out that the ads are entertainment and they are part of a multi-ad series. I’ll try to be more tolerant.


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  • E Guy

    Wasted money, ineffective advertising, reflective of a creative director with too big a budget and not enough talent. Obviously, there is a message with this advertising but it is poorly executed.

    The Mac ads, on the other hand, are brilliant. They reflect Apple’s culture, demonstrate a value proposition difference that is compelling, people remember them and more importantly remember that they are for Apple as opposed to being just a good ad, and they are sustaining over a long period of time. Similar in effectiveness and sustainability to the Mastercard priceless ads.

    Any marketing professional who thinks these new Microsoft ads are good is incompetent.

  • Geoff

    @E Guy –

    Thanks heavens I never wanted to be a marketing guy.

    You are correct about the Apple ads though. They do reflect the company – they are condescending and smug – just like the CEO. The cool kid who just can’t help but laugh to himself when he realizes how many of the other kids’ moms dress them in ToughSkins. Too bad they can’t afford better…

    I’m looking forward to the next Bill/Jerry ad. Never once have I said that about the Apple/PC series.

    Are the Apple ads effective? Absolutely. But effective does not make them enjoyable. Bill and Jerry entertain me. That goes a long way on my tally sheet, and gives me a warm and fuzzy about MS that I haven’t had since Win95 hit the charts.

  • phil

    It’s definitely a different kind of funny, but I’m strangely enjoying them. It’s not really targeted at the young demographic though. It’s a pretty big stretch from this to actually suggesting MS is in touch with the market.

  • PRJack

    I’m not so sure that the Apple ads are as bang on as people think. Remember that the guy representing the Mac was a decidedly un-hip and un-cool character in the last Die Hard movie. Furthermore, in that movie he certainly wasn’t using a Mac to do his high-powered computing.

    Why would I believe an actor who is having words put into his mouth? The very fact that ‘Mac’ is nothing but an actor diminishes the very messages he conveys. Why should I believe him when he’s no different than any other hired gun trying to shill something?

    If Apple wanted their spokesperson to truly represent their brand, then they likely could’ve chosen someone better. As it is all I see is a guy who talks Mac but uses PC.

  • E Guy

    @Geoff – The Bill / Jerry ads entertain you? Wow…you must make your living off Microsoft as there can be no other explanation. Interesting that you think Steve Jobs is smug and condescending and that MS was warm and fuzzy based on Win95. Win95 – warm and fuzzy – that’s a new one…

    @ PRJack – Do you really think that Jerry and Bill wrote and created those ads on their own? I think someone put words in their mouths…

    Remember, ads have actors in them…virtually ALL ads have actors playing in them. Some actors are professionals, others are not but they all act with someone else doing the creative. Remember, this is a television medium.

    Good ads have a message that is compelling, sustainable, relevant, and motivating. The Bill / Jerry ads for Microsoft have none of the above. It is just more wasted dollars that cater to the throng of MS followers who know no better.

  • PRJack

    @EGuy methinks you’re a Mac guy! “throngs of MS followers who know no better.”? LOL

    Personally, I could care less about platform. They’re both woefully flawed IMO. I wrote my thesis on a Mac. I now work on a PC. Ho Hum.

    From a Marketing standpoint I love what MFST is doing. The over the top foolishness of Jerry and Bill is painting the company in a far better light than the Mac vs PC ads do. I feel that the Mac ads have become pretentious, smarmy and dismissive. In a way, the Mac ads have adopted something akin to the holier-than-thou attitude that MFST used to foist upon us.

    As for the messaging – or lack thereof – in the Bill & Jerry ads, yeah, there isn’t much there. But that’s not a bad thing. I’m not going to say this is on par with Apple’s epic “1984″ ad, but it does accomplish one thing… and that is to alter the perception of the company (both to the follower who don’t know better and those who do!). If that perception is silly, then kudos to MFST for poking some fun at themselves. That seems to have become something Apple has lost.

  • PRJack

    oops, forgot to add in response to your comments re: actors…

    at least with Bill and Jerry it’s all very transparent.