Microsoft pressed SHIFT-DEL on epic fail Gates/Seinfeld ads

Microsoft pressed SHIFT-DEL on epic fail Gates/Seinfeld ads

Summary: Press SHIFT-DEL, bypass Recycle Bin, Seinfeld collects $10 million.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
85

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.

Topic: Microsoft

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85 comments
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  • Two old farts pushing an outdated OS, that's a winner...

    I can't believe Microsoft thought this was a good marketing strategy by bringing one old comedian and one old nerd to brand to an upcoming generation of computer users and buyers. These commercials were about as innovative as Microsoft's products. That explains why Apple's market share keeps increasing at the expense of Microsoft's market share decline.
    gtdworak
    • uh-huh

      Yeah, that increase from 5% to 6% is really putting the screws to microsoft....
      vermonter
      • Paddle that

        river denial. Apple is about 10% overall, and is enjoying double-
        digit growth and record-breaking sales. And Apple doesn't target
        enterprise. That means consumer space, where Apple has
        significant, positive mind share.

        Yes, MS is worried and rightly so. Apple has 1/10th MS' market
        share and 1/3rd MS revenues. Their market cap is greater than
        Dell, HP and Google.

        Only a fool wouldn't be taking them as a serious competitor.
        frgough
        • What numbers you quoting?

          Realistically Mac holds a 5% world wide market share with an 8% US share.
          CrashPad
    • And why Gates and Seinfeld

      Both continue to earn revenues people like us can only dream of, because who they are and what they do is in such a decline and are so irrelavant.

      Go figure.
      GuidingLight
      • Seinfeld is a has been and so is Gates. Funny to watch them go out together

        NT.
        DonnieBoy
      • And here was me thinking...

        That this was all about strengthening the Microsoft brand and growing the company. Ah well, I guess I have an aberrant view of what advertising's goals are.
        zkiwi
      • "You were great in your day, Superman"

        "But when it came time to cash in your chips, who knew a diseased old man would be your banker?"

        The world is littered with wealthy has-beens, GL - which is [b][i]lots[/b][/i] better than being an impoverished has-been (of which there are many more), true, but their wealth STILL doesn't equal relevance.

        If I didn't have a deep-seated loathing for the consequences to people everywhere of the Masters of M$FT, and sublime indifference to Jerry Seinfeld's style of humor, I might feel vaguely sorry for them in the same way I feel sorry for former pop idols on their "comeback tours". But I do - so I don't, really.
        drprodny
  • The obvious update required

    I don't see how with so many living Comedians,
    and the People Behind the Scenes laughter, now
    a-days (new and old), and with the cash that
    Microsoft has, why New Title Content can't be
    developed, and using it as the Pusher for New
    Operating System Marketing?
    dascha1
  • MS is doing everything but...

    giving the consumer what they want. The user is becoming too sophisticated to be forced fed by MS any longer. MS' arrogance in this matter will cost the company and shareholders.

    It's just too bad that Linux isn't a viable desktop alternative. It's great for servers but that's it. And I wouldn't run Apple if they paid me.

    Fortunately our company has stocked up on enough XP's to do us for a while longer.
    bjbrock
    • Why do you say that?

      "[B]It's just too bad that Linux isn't a viable desktop alternative. It's great for servers but that's it. And I wouldn't run Apple if they paid me.[/B]"

      Since I use it at home quite easily as do several of my friends, and it's making expeditious inroads into European and South American schools. And lets not forget the Asian markets either.

      Fact is the US is the only place where the adoption of Linux is slow. That is attributable to poor or non-existent marketing and the 1990's image that is perpetuated by ignorance and fear.

      As for Microsoft, I think with the economy in the condition it's in and the current 12-18 month projections on it's recovery and health, Microsoft may have a tough battle no matter what they do. Couple that with a seriously damaged reputation it's not going to be easy to fight back.
      Jim Blaine - Bellingham WA.
    • Are you well?

      Nobody is force feeding anyone. I do see that you appear to be trying to feed us a bunch of crap.
      Enterprise is the domain of MS because they offer solutions. Linux and Apple have no clue as to what it takes in that market.
      CrashPad
      • In Enterprise solutions

        Microsoft is known to be inflexible crapware. Why do you think so much legacy UNIX/VMS/Mainframe is still around? If you need a solution you need to buy several extra packages with MS as your platform and even then it's sometimes still not possible.

        Apple is more known to satify creative folks from origin. (GFX, Sounds, Movies, etc.)
        TedKraan
    • Only an idiot...

      Would make a statement that Microsoft doesn't give consumers what they want. Microsoft is the ONLY platform that gives consumers THOUSANDS of choices to craft their computing experience.

      Apple? Walled garden controlled by an ego maniac.

      Linux? Certainly a viable alternative for cheaper cost.

      Consumers have more choices today then they ever have, so get over your hatred/jealousy of MS and quit spewing FUD.

      Pat
      omdguy
      • Well, if Vista is what customers wanted, I sure would hate to see what they

        DID NOT WANT.
        DonnieBoy
      • Bravo

        A great mind deserves a bravo
        Nsaf
  • What a bunch of blind critics....

    These first two ads where exactly as stated, an introduction. And most here it appears are too ignorant to see that.
    Adrian were you not smacked down the last time you started crap like this?
    CrashPad
    • Right, that is what MS wants you to think. But, the truth is, these bombed.

      MS trying to spin it as anything else just makes them look even more STUPID and out of touch.
      DonnieBoy
      • A 63% positve rating??

        From a firm who gathers blog post for disemination. 63% is worthy of even the greatest campaigns. IMHO
        CrashPad
        • Well, it was 63% that were not turned off, but NOT 63% that were rolling on

          the floor laughing, or truly awed by MS technology. Compared to the Apple series, this BOMBED big time, and THAT is why it was canceled.

          Well, there were a number rolling on the floor laughing about how STUPID the ads were. But most were like "what was that???".

          Look for Apple to pounce on this and do mocking ads with Gates and Seinfeld look-alikes.
          DonnieBoy