Microsoft + Seinfeld + Gates = FAIL

There’s a fine line between crazy and genius and CPB’s new Microsoft has drawn some attention and criticism at least in the advertising community. The common consensus is that it was a disaster, but is there more to it? As nicely said by nowpublic:

The widespread consensus: Microsoft + Jerry + Bill = FAIL.
The result: Gates + Seinfeld = CANCELLED.
The Microsoft version: it was all part of the plan.

So would you believe that they paid Seinfeld $10MM for two ads? Are they bringing him back later? Is this really going somewhere?

A Microsoft spokesperson said that Microsoft was launching its “largest consumer focused marketing campaign in its history” that it hopes “will engage consumers about the broader value of the Windows brand.”

Microsoft’s new adverts that will feature a brown-suited company engineer who resembles John Hodgman — the comedian who plays the unfashionable PC character in the “PC vs Mac” ads. Other adverts will include cameo appearances from Bill Gates, as well as celebrities like Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria, hip-hop star Pharrell Williams, and the author Deepak Chopra.

It won’t be hard to make anything better or more successful than the line they drew with the two Seinfeld ads (Shoe Circus and New Family). Anyone wants to take a wild guess at CPB’s overall strategy?

Rob Gonda

Rob Gonda is a Director of Strategy for Sapient and former Editor-in-Chief of the AJAX Developer's Journal. He is an Advanced Certified Coldfusion Developer, member of the Adobe Community Experts, frequent contributor to the CFDJ and ADJ, frequent speaker at IT and developer conferences nationwide, co-author of Real-World Ajax, author of ajaxCFC, holds a BS in computer science and engineering, and an MBA with a specialization in entrepreneurship. He specializes in Rich Internet Applications and object-oriented architecture. Rob’s mission is to develop forward-thinking expertise that will ensure clients are always on par with rapidly changing technologies and maintain it’s ethos of evolving.

4 comments

  • I still believe the brand got people talking, not the ads… any Microsoft ad with any celebrity would have produced the same, if not more buzz… It’s not even related to the new no walls campaign, and I even heard people saying that Seinfeld is the one who dumped Microsoft … whether it’s true or not I don’t know, but it shows the mixed feelings about this ad…. so was it worth it? Did it hype the real campaign more because people were already paying attention? Was it worth the $10MM Seinfeld got? Many open questions, I’d like to hear some people thoughts …

  • I still believe the brand got people talking, not the ads… any Microsoft ad with any celebrity would have produced the same, if not more buzz… It’s not even related to the new no walls campaign, and I even heard people saying that Seinfeld is the one who dumped Microsoft … whether it’s true or not I don’t know, but it shows the mixed feelings about this ad…. so was it worth it? Did it hype the real campaign more because people were already paying attention? Was it worth the $10MM Seinfeld got? Many open questions, I’d like to hear some people thoughts …

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