Microsoft’s first commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld has him shoe shopping with Bill Gates has him querying the company’s Founder as to whether their computers will become, “moist and chewy like cake.” Bill Gates signaled in the affirmative by adjusting his shorts in quite possibly the most awkward screenplay of all time.
Strangely enough, nowhere in the ad was a mention of Vista or any other Microsoft product whatsoever. The tag line for the commercial was, “the future. delicious.” and the Microsoft logo. The ad aired during NFL prime time on Thursday night and you can see the extended version on Microsoft’s Web site.
It’s promising to see Microsoft trying to reconnect with consumers in a light and personal way. The trend of PC users downgrading their Vista systems to XP shows that not all users feel that the company was in sync with their needs when it created Vista. However, while showing the legendary Bill Gates shaking his rump on television may help to humanize him, it does little to show that Microsoft understands the needs of its user community.
The Redmond company hired comedian Jerry Seinfeld to humanize the massive software company in response to Apple’s Mac versus PC ads. There is speculation that Microsoft’s goal was to create a fun ad that didn’t try to be overly hip given its image as a corporate giant.
This is the first ad of the $300 million that Microsoft is said to have set aside for Vista advertising in the coming months. Seinfeld is rumored to be getting $10 million for the campaign, but there’s no word on whether he will be included in other commercials as of yet.
With Vista acceptance rates failing to meet critical mass and Microsoft already setting target dates to release the Windows 7 operating system, the company needs to shore up public impression of their products. This seems to be more along the lines of brand advertising, which could help consumers to see the company in a friendlier light. That perception is also important to stem defections as buyers decide what kind of computer to purchase next.