updated 12:10 am EDT, Fri September 12, 2008
New Seinfeld Gates ad
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a new ad featuring founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, cozying up to an allegedly typical American family in an attempt to discover what the average user wants. The ad follows in the same vein as the first, comprised mostly of Seinfeld's well-known comedy style "about nothing." Both Seinfeld and Gates portray a character who act like opposites of their commonly perceived personality, with a food delivery driver being told by Gates that he has "got nothing" when it comes time to pay the tab, Seinfeld handing the teen an old Greek coin.
Throughout the four-and-a-half minute commercial, the two are subject to suspicion and abuse from a grandmother character, before they are eventually set up for trying to take a leather giraffe statue. The teenage girl in the family set them up after Seinfeld was found in her room, clipping his toenails.
Their experience ends as they walk down the street with their luggage. Seinfeld probes Gate's success in the computer industry, bringing up that he's "connected over a billion people," and wonders what could be next. When asked about whether the world would see frogs with email, a goldfish with a website, or an amoeba with a blog, Gates does a small robot dance at Seinfeld's behest to confirm any of the above.
According to ZDNet, the ad is just one phase of Microsoft's re-positioning of the company's public perception, and a more Windows-oriented advertisement is due I the coming days. "Very shortly, we will move into another phase of the campaign that will be about Windows," said a spokesman for Microsoft.
The advertising campaign is costing Microsoft close to $300 million, with part of the money going towards hiring over 150 Microsoft Gurus whose jobs are to help prospective customers with how-to introductions to Windows. Microsoft eventually hopes to use the ads to show users how Windows Vista, Mobile, and Live can be used to increase productivity.
There have not been any anti-Apple overtones thus far, unlike Apple's Get a Mac ad campaign, which directly slams Vista for being difficult to operate and restrictive of a user's work flow.