The first Microsoft ad with Jerry Seinfeld is out, and it's baffling, even sad. The clip has Seinfeld finding Microsoft founder Bill Gates in a discount shoe store. A bit of silly (not funny) patter follows. The ad ends with the only mention of computers and a shake of Gates's butt. I'm not kidding. As MG Siegler notes at VentureBeat:
The tagline for this one: "The future. Delicious." I think this is more "yuck" than "yum."
It's hard to find anyone applauding the ad, except the occasional Microsoft employee. The bit is merely the first in a $300 million image campaign, explains a Microsoft exec (via Michael Arrington at TechCrunch:
The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows—a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses but will always be marked by humor and humanity.
The ad's only purpose that I can see is to humanize Gates. He's done a great job already at improving his image with his charitable foundation. But he is not warm and fuzzy. Gates, like archrival Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is a driven, tough competitor who's known for a huge temper and for taking joy in the vanquishing of any company that gets in his way.
Apple, in its popular Mac vs. PC ads, has made no effort to rehab Jobs's image.