What's the Deal With Jerry Seinfeld's Microsoft Ad?

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The ad world is all abuzz about the new Microsoft Windows commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. It's a bit hokey, rather long, and, well, it just doesn't make any sense. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Ad Age calls it "a classic Crispin Porter oddity"—Crispin Porter + Bogusky is the ad agency that created the commercial, and is known for its creativity and its ability to resurrect brands with such ads as the King character for Burger King, embracing the "tiny" for Mini Cooper, and the "Truth" anti-smoking campaign.

Microsoft had to bring out the big guns, as over the past two years it has been single-handedly rebranded by Apple in their "Mac vs. PC" ads. Says Rob Enderle, an advisory analyst for tech companies, in the profile on Fast Company, "It's the first time I've ever seen a major national campaign that disparages a competitor, and the competitor just sits back and takes it."

Well Microsoft isn't taking it any longer. But is the Seinfeld campaign working? Well, you may not think so after watching the commercial. But if you didn't understand, rest assured—nobody did. It's a "teaser ad," the first commercial in a larger campaign, "designed mainly to attract attention, and [will be] followed by other ads that explain the true message of the marketing effort."

Apparently, Microsoft may reinvent cool in the future commercials. Says Andrew Keller, Executive Creative Director at CP+B, about the ads to come, "To try to be cool is to not be cool. To chase cool, you're chasing something that already exists, which means you're always going to be on the wrong side of it, you'll always be following." Got it?

September 9, 2008 - 8:34am
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