I can't say that I didn't see this one coming:
Microsoft flacks are desperately dialing reporters to spin them about "phase two" of the ad campaign — a phase, due to be announced tomorrow, which will drop the aging comic altogether. Microsoft's version of the story: Redmond had always planned to drop Seinfeld. The awkward reality: The ads only reminded us how out of touch with consumers Microsoft is — and that Bill Gates's company has millions of dollars to waste on hiring a has-been funnyman to keep him company.
Press SHIFT-DEL, bypass Recycle Bin, Seinfeld collects $10 million.
The Microsoft spin on this is that the whole thing was planned. Really? So the whole idea was to come out with two ads that featured Gates and Seinfeld, ads that were enthusiastically hated by most, and then move on to phase 2? I doubt it.
I can't say that these ads weren't funny, but rather than being "ha ha funny" they were more "what's that funny smell?" funny.
So, what's to replace the Gates/Seinfeld double act?
One new Microsoft commercial even begins with a company engineer who resembles John Hodgman, the comedian portraying the loser PC character in the Apple campaign. “Hello, I’m a PC,” the engineer says, echoing Mr. Hodgman’s recurring line, “and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”
The strategy to use the Apple attack as the basis for a counterstrike is typical for the agency behind the campaign, Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
Let's wait and see what phase 2 brings.