Microsoft Gives In To Online Critics: Fires Seinfeld

from the what's-the-deal-with-that? dept

I recognize that I was in the minority of folks who actually thought the Microsoft Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads were good and entertaining, but I'm still quite surprised to see Valleywag report that Microsoft is ending the Seinfeld ads, despite plans for a huge $300 million ad campaign around them. Microsoft is trying to claim that this is all according to plan, but that seems difficult to believe -- especially since the "narrative" of the ads had only just begun. It looks like Microsoft basically caved to all the online critics, which makes no sense to me. Even if some people didn't get the ads, people were talking about them. Caving, rather than going through with the rest of the planned ads and laying out the message that they had planned to lay out, just makes the company look foolish. The first two ad segments clearly set the framework for numerous commercials that Microsoft could use to both humanize itself and inform people about what Microsoft was doing -- and now it's basically a dead end. Yes, there were some very vocal critics of the ads, but bowing to their pressure sends exactly the wrong message.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Eeqmcsq, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:50am

    Those two ads must have been pretty lame when even the local radio sports talk guy this evening took a moment to criticize about how boring and non-grabbing those first two ads were. And that's despite him saying that he's a huge Seinfeld fan, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    Perhaps all part of their cunning plan?

    Perhaps this is precisely what they wished to demonstrate, i.e. that even though they committed huge amounts of money to a fundamentally flawed venture, they do listen to critics and will react appropriately.

    So, no doubt Vista will also soon be canned?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:27am

    Mimics reality

    Sorry, the ads were plain bad. Kinda like the last season of Seinfeld. Yes people were talking but it's not a positive when the talk is in fact ridicule.

    Microsoft has had decent advertising before so I'm surprised they went this bad.

    Perhaps the next ad or two can be thought of as a service pack and fix the original blunder.

    And does the use of celebrities to advertise your product really work ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Tic, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:47am

    Ads

    People and especially Americans are some of the most hateful people on this planet. They're even more hateful now that they have the Internet as an outlet to spew their garbage. No matter what Microsoft does, people are going to complain and find something negative to say. I agree with everything said in this article.

    I personally enjoyed the Senfield and Gates ads. It was nice to see two bestfriends together and watching their chemistry.

    I'm extrememly annoyed that the ads were pulled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    wasnt me!, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:51am

    more of the same.

    not that i believe it but: Mr. Pilla said the company planned the three ads pairing Messrs. Seinfeld and Gates to be a "teaser" for the larger campaign. He denied a blog report that suggested Microsoft had dropped Mr. Seinfeld prematurely. "The ads that feature Bill and Jerry have done exactly what they were designed to do," Mr. Pilla said. "Any suggestion otherwise is untrue." found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122170413554850995.html?mod=googlenews_wsj so next on the menu seems to be: - Deepak Chopra, - Eva Longoria, - Pharrell Williams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    wasnt me!, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:54am

    Re: more of the same.

    sry about the paragraph formating not sure what happened:

    not that i believe it but:
    Mr. Pilla said the company planned the three ads pairing Messrs. Seinfeld and Gates to be a "teaser" for the larger campaign. He denied a blog report that suggested Microsoft had dropped Mr. Seinfeld prematurely. "The ads that feature Bill and Jerry have done exactly what they were designed to do," Mr. Pilla said. "Any suggestion otherwise is untrue."
    found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122170413554850995.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
    So next on the menu seems to be:
    - Deepak Chopra,
    - Eva Longoria,
    - Pharrell Williams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:20am

    The problem with the ads

    The problem with the ads isn't that they weren't ads for Microsoft. They were ads for Apple. No... seriously.

    When people say "all advertising is good advertising" they are only referring to ads for relatively unknown entities. Once a company is firmly established and nears saturation in it's market then bad advertising is indeed detrimental, as it turns into ads for their competitors.

    Mike says "people were talking about the ads, so they must have been working". However, many people were comparing them unfavorably to Apple's ads. Very few people walked away from those ads with a positive impression of Microsoft. Most viewers, I believe, walked away comparing apple to Microsoft, and that's not something that Microsoft wants to happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:31am

    They were ads for Apple...

    That seems like a stretch.

    People have always been comparing Microsoft unfavourably to Apple. That people would then go on to compare the adds unfavourably to Apples adds shouldn't be surprising.

    I really doubt there is anything Microsoft could do and not take flak for it, at least initially.

    Mike says that the people that found these adds funny were in a minority, but lets face it, the only people who find Apple adds funny are Apple fans who are what, 10% of the population?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    rwahrens (profile), Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:53am

    Re: They were ads for Apple...

    SteveD,

    Yeah, 10% and growing - at the rate of something like 30% + per annum! Sorry, but lots of people find them funny, its just the Microsoft fanbois that don't, cause they're annoyed that they hit so close to home!

    Microsoft was right to pull these ads. They were lame, made no sense to most people, and the inside jokes, while amusing to those that understood them, went right over the heads of most folk - who were presumably the targets of the ads!

    "People have always been comparing Microsoft unfavourably to Apple. That people would then go on to compare the adds unfavourably to Apples adds shouldn't be surprising."

    Yeah? I wonder why that is? Perhaps it is because their products compare unfavorably to Apple's products? That's the bottom line, after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    JoeO, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:53am

    Mistakerosoft Ads

    Thats right, Mistake-ro-soft. That name fits them more, and their poorly designed products.

    I like the BS Ads Mistakerosoft has about some fake software that is actually Vista. Please, these people that say that Vista is great are not using the required Office Suite 2007.

    If they did they would see the poor changes and know it was Vista and not Mohave or whatever Mistakerosoft called the Vista fake.

    Mistakerosoft should fix the problems with their software before dumping it on consumers, and expect them to wait for a patch or service pack update to make their software work right. People should sue Mistakerosoft for selling them an inferior product.

    Mistakrosoft, why not spend your money fixing your crappy software instead of making crappy Ads to go along with it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Hoeppner, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:12am

    It's seinfield is it anything but boring? The entire plot is based around getting someone pissed off then making everything identical to how it was before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Hyrulio, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:17am

    The only reason people didn't like the adverts is the logo that came up at the end.

    If Apple had dome the same storyline with Steve Jobs, people would have liked them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: They were ads for Apple...

    Yep, 30% groth figures is a lot to be excited about. I mean their current desktop market share is what, 8% in the US, and something not worth thinking about globally? They'd need to keep that growth rate for a decade to match Microsoft.

    Google will challange Microsofts dominance before Apple ever will.

    Anyway, the only funny add apple ever pulled was the 'beep! beep! beep!' paper-girl. The PCvsMac adds border on the obnoxious. Promoting yourself by slagging off your competitors is a job for presidential candidates, not good salesmen.

    Say what you want about the Vista adds, but at least they managed to rise above the ‘lol, Mac sux!’ mentality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    NumbNuts, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:29am

    Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    People should sue Mistakerosoft for selling them an inferior product.
    Great idea...then they can sue themselves for being idiots and give all the money to charity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Roger, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:44am

    Can't get it right

    Microsoft can't even get an ad campaign right. If only they spent $300M on creating a better product...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:48am

    Microsoft did something Apple could never do, make computers affordable for a majority of people. Crapple may be great for drawing pictures and playing garageband, but that's about it.

    Serious business and research is done on Microsoft based computers. Vendors have absolutely no intentions of creating instruments or software that runs on a Mac.

    Gas / Liquid Chromatographers, NMRs,Spectrophotometers, Mass Spectrometers, Particle Analyzers and many, many, many more. I won't even list the instruments in the robotics labs.

    Do me a favor. While we're designing products that make your day to day life better or actually save your life one day, go out and drop 10k on a Mac! You can finally play Quake or paint a pretty little picture for your parents.

    BTW, how's that class-action lawsuit over the iPhone going?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:50am

    Re: Can't get it right

    Oh they spent far more than that on Vista. 'course that might be part of the problem right there.

    You ever hear the phrase "too many cooks spoil the stew"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Andy, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:55am

    meh

    I thought the ads were interesting.

    Short silly movies that didn't have to do with anything.

    I'd rather see more of that than seeing ads about how I MUST BUY THIS CAR THIS WEEKEND!

    Microsoft should buy all ad space on the major channels for one day and just play silly videos instead of actual advertising like this.

    I know a silly idea, but THAT would get people talking about Microsoft in a nice way. Especially if were to announce a new technology that lets people ignore ads. (which we know they'd never do)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Andh, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:59am

    Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    Mistakerosoft?

    Dude, that's worse than Micro$oft. Why now throw in 2 dollar signs and go with Mi$takero$oft?

    I've been using Vista at home since launch without any major issue. I'm not saying that I'm the standard bearer, but it's not the hunking piece of shit that many tout it as.

    I'm also confident in saying that XP is probably the best OS created so far in terms of usability and stability.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    I'm also confident in saying that XP is probably the best OS created so far in terms of usability and stability.

    Actually, that was windows 2000. XP just added some eye candy to win2k. Some of the eye candy was necessary, some of it... ew. (control panel?????)

    Well, that and it made the win2k kernel the official successor to the win9x kernel, which was a huge leap of usability and stability.

    I find it rather ...interesting... that windows 2000 was the last product to RTM while Gates was still CEO, and every product released since Ballmer took the reins seems to have been developed by the marketing department instead of by the programmers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:25am

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re:

    (whoops) If Apple had dome (sic) the same storyline with Steve Jobs, people would have liked them.

    More like, if Apple had done the same storyline with Steve Jobs people would be looking for the hidden meaning and speculating favorably as to what we can expect in the near future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    I'm also confident in saying that XP is probably the best OS created so far in terms of usability and stability.

    Certainly you mean best OS from M$. I use Win2K at home and XP at work, and my vote goes to Win2K. Not as "dressed up for the prom" as XP, but more reliable.

    If you mean best OS in general, then you sir are off your nut. And be careful of the cart leading the horse. Windows users have been suckling at the teat of right-clicking as an extension of the OS for too long. We have been well trained. When I started using OS X I realized that conceptually something was wrong with Windows. And then it hit me that while M$ has been playing catchup since DOS, Apple has been running a nearly identical UI for more than 25 years. Because it works! You aren't used to it, but for that matter you could have been raised thinking dog crap is chocolate pudding, and maybe you would have found the best and most nutty pudding so far, but it's still crap.

    Sorry. That was excessively hyperbolic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    GregW, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    I agree

    I agree with your post, Mike. The ads were great, seemed to be building toward a product annnouncement, and fit nicely with the Windows Not Walls ad in the Wall Street Journal this morning. I hope they keep them going.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    no one is probably reading this far...

    Hell, what I say is they need to make a TV show with Jerry and Bill. It was entertaining watching them. I couldn't care less about the microsoft part. It's bill and jerry doing silly crap, it's just so weird it's awesome.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Willyp76, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    Well, you know Microsoft is known for not finishing there work. Look at vista; still broke and they are already working on a new windows system. APPLE FOR THE WIN!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Mike V, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Sienfeld is the new BOB

    remember the short lived Microsoft BOB??. Wasnt that MS's last attempt to "humanize" the company?.

    If MS has Jerry Sienfeld, then Apple should have Brad Pitt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Frito, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:01am

    I also agree

    I agree with Greg. The ads were fun and they definitely made me laugh. I was even starting to warm up to Bill and Jerry.

    However, if this 'canning Seinfeld' isn't just an add promotion I am very disappointed in microsoft. You can't do anything revolutionary if you just listen to the masses. You have to do something to inspire them. I really thought these ads were going to do that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Article makes no sense

    Very few people liked the ads. They were annoying and ineffective. After my wife saw the first ad, she said, "Wow. How does that have anything to do with Windows. Microsoft must be desperate." That doesn't sound to me like the message Microsoft wants to send.

    Microsoft canceling the ads because no one (or very few) found them to be effective is not "sending the wrong message." It is, in fact, listening to consumers. It may be the first time Microsoft has actually done that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    NPGMBR, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Does TechDirt Writers Have Any Credibility?

    "On Sept. 4, when the teaser ads started, the “buzz” about Microsoft was 25 percent positive and 13 percent negative, Mr. Marzilli said, and by Tuesday it was 28 percent positive and 8 percent negative. Microsoft “has been beat up pretty badly by the Apple advertisements in the last six months,” he said. “These are strong numbers, good numbers, for Microsoft.” (Source: www.Nytimes.com)

    This is the second article in as many weeks that I have read on Tedhdirt has been factually inccurate. Seinfeld had not been fired. The promotion is just moving into the next phase.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Re: They were ads for Apple...

    "but lets face it, the only people who find Apple adds funny are Apple fans who are what, 10% of the population?"

    Actually, no. I hate Apple products. I think they are overrated, overpriced, proprietary eye candy. I think pretty much everything said in the ads is an exaggeration or an outright lie (what's new?).

    However, I still laugh every time one of the commercials comes on. They are clever and funny, and I can appreciate that even if I don't agree with the message. Just about everyone I know finds them funny. So, no, it's not just Apple fans that like them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward #42, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Honestly, I found the ads lame, and somewhat disturbing. Yes, getting people talking can be good, but just talk for the sake of talk is not good. The whole point in advertising is to entice viewers to buy your product, and these ads did nothing for that. I understand that the "storyline" was not finished, but at the same time, I could see that they were going to end up taking far too long to get to the point.

    Apple's commercials, while annoying and downright untruthful at times, are clearly succeeding in promoting the good points around their product. Microsoft seems to have failed miserably on this front, because I have seen nothing in these commercials, absolutely NOTHING at all, that could possibly entice people to buy Vista. The whole Mojave experiment was far more successful in selling Vista than these sorry excuses for commercials. They may have been cute and entertaining to some, but they really fail on some basic Marketing 101 concepts.

    No offense to Gates and Seinfeld, but Microsoft really needs to get some fresh, young talent in to start a real advertising campaign. Using too older fellas just further reinforces the idea that Windows is for older people, business users, etc. They need to appeal to consumers, and sorry, but this just isn't the way to do it. I will be anxious to see what they come up with going forward.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    I see a lot of bad comments about Vista and Microsoft, but I don't see a problem with either. Vista works great for me and all other operating systems and software have worked great for me. But of course I do know and understand computers. Did it every occur to anyone that the people complaining probably don't know much about computers and don't realize that the problem is not Microsoft, maybe it's them. Ever heard the term PEBKAC Error..Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Dave, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:24am

    Have you seen the new ads?

    They made some new ads that I liken to the Pepsi coke taste off. They have people come in and try a supposed new OS and tell them a strange name. After the people play with it for who knows how long they "surprise this is windows vista".

    Problem with this kind of advertising is, if you have any kind of commonsense you know they didn't show all the people who said "this sucks".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Mayor Umbria, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    So the 'local radio sports talk guy' is criticizing a Microsoft ad campaign which he considers to be 'boring' and 'non-grabbing?'

    Huh.

    And that's it. Microsoft pulls the plug because a few loud-mouthed morons don't 'get it?' That must have been their target market.

    I hate this country more every day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    astontechno, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:39am

    things may not appear as they seem.

    jerry seinfeld and bill gates are great television

    any idiot can see that

    when you laugh from the gut.....it's a good thing

    watch for these guys in the future

    they're just too good to be put on the entertainment shelf

    of failures

    wake up america ! ô¿ô

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Maniac in a Speedo'd, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:40am

    Nothing new

    The ads failed. It's the same reason why you no longer see Chrysler commercials that have "Ask Dr. Z" in them.

    They made Bill Gates look like a complete tard who can't afford a decent haircut, and Seinfeld is simply not funny.

    Microsoft has to realize that if they just made a decent product in the first place, the viewing public would be more likely to forgive them for esoteric ads that aren't funny or entertaining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Kramer (profile), Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:40am

    caving is lame

    OK, the ads (I only saw the shoe store ad; didn't see the suburban home one) may have been lame. I am guessing they were ramping up a narrative and perhaps would have made more sense had we seen the whole thing.

    Remember, Seinfeld is all about comedy about nothing - and I thought the shoe store was very Seinfeldian. I can see how this might have morphed into something relevant to MS given enough time.

    THE MAIN ISSUE HERE is that by changing the ad campaing, MS appears to lack a rudder. And that message is coming through way more than any moist and chewy computer message.

    Not staying the course was their big mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    net625, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:42am

    ...

    I liked them. I am still wondering why or how no one is open to this and I though it was very entertaining. I would also like to say that Microsoft is doing the exact things that they are doing in the add to figure out how to make their software and hardware better for normal people to use. And I like the bit with the mustard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Brutus Beefcake, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    ALL WINDOWS USERS ARE IDIOTS

    BIG FRIGGING IDIOTS!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Hateful American, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Re: Ads

    Where are you from Douche? I presume a third world country where stoning is still your form of hatred. You are damn lucky we do have the Internet, so you and dolts of your ilk have freedom to spew your garbage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    Interesting, a man with the most boring job in the world is criticizing something for being boring? Maybe he is too excited with grown men playing with each others balls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    DonDraper, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    STOP TRYING TO BE COOL

    Microsoft is not the "cool" computer company, thats Apple. Steve Balmer is not cool, Steve Jobs is. What Microsoft needs to focus on is old fashioned consumer product ads. People dont buy Microsoft products becuase they are the coolest, flashiest products out there. They buy Microsoft, becuase they trust it to be compatible with everything they want to use and expect Microsoft to continue to support it. People buy Microsoft becuase they just done want to hassle to much about technology. This is what they need to sell, simple, worry free, familiar copmuting.

    "Buy Vista and get on with doing whatever it is you have a PC for" - thats what they should be selling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Urban, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Ads

    What the hell happened with the world where we are now supposed to LIKE being constantly exposed to advertisements?
    How can anyone not making money on the garbage proclaim them "entertaining"? Are you that lost to reality?

    One thing is getting a chuckle from a funny add, another is defending adds even when they are a nuisance, like the MS adds of late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Urban, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Ads

    How exactly does the internet provide freedom?
    Only thing it provides is a medium for you to voice your poor convictions, all from your arm chair.

    But I suppose you are from Alaska where it has recently been discovered exists a near total lack of common sense and morals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    HFC, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Ads

    Uh, yeah... that'll show him how wrong he is. You're an idiot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    HFC, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Re: STOP TRYING TO BE COOL

    You do realize that Microsoft isn't a computer company right? They're a software company. No, Balmer isn't cool and neither is Jobs. People don't buy MS products because they're cool and flashy (oh yeah, except the XBox 360, HALO and others) but they do buy PCs running MS products because they're cool and flashy. Alienware and Voodoo make much cooler and flashier products than Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Alone?, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    Am I?

    The ads were subtle, deliberately vague, not offensive, and (to me) conveyed the sense that an inside joke was present between Jerry and Bill - one that we might learn more about as time went on. With everything we're force fed via television, I thought the change of pace was refreshing, and even if I didn't like the commercials, I definitely wouldn't have changed the channel given all the hype.

    It accomplished the goal - get people talking about Microsoft, and the people I work with in IT that have a sense of humor were not against it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Erv Server, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    seinfeld

    The ads had some humor to them but I think the problem was Seinfeld. The ads reminded me of the Seinfeld tv show

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Dan, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:06am

    Pulling the ads was sad. MS finally got it that advertising is content and caved to those that don't know that (and apparently don't read Techdirt, either). I go out of my way to see the Apple ads with Mac and PC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:06am

    It was planned! Get the REAL fact

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    RObby P, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:07am

    Um... Urban Myth

    ..Um...I think this article Jumped the gun a bit... Reports state that this is Just a rumor and in fact Jerry and Bill will be back in action... maybe at a hat store near you..??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Justin, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    GROW SOME BALLS

    It was a pussy move to pull the ads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Are you Serious JoeO, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    "I like the BS Ads Mistakerosoft has about some fake software that is actually Vista. Please, these people that say that Vista is great are not using the required Office Suite 2007."

    You have got to be kidding with this? This site is called "Techdirt" and I would assume that someone reading this site would have a little bit of technical knowledge...just a little bit. There is no requirement to use Office Suite 2007 with Vista. If you believe that...then you have been sold a bill of goods by some superstore sales guy. Hold back on the MS hatred a bit if you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    WSO420, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:29am

    Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    You should pull you head out of your... whatever. Let me start off by saying that I hate microsoft, for their business tactics, but their software is superior unfortunately. For instance, with my windows machine I can run 99% of the existing software in the world. While Apple PCs can run less than 10%. As far as gaming, windows is the clear choice... since I also own a XBox 360... I buy a $10 little doohickey and voila! now I can use my wireless 360 controllers with my windows games too... very nicelty integrated I might add. As far as Vista goes, I waited until service pack 1 came out before I migrated and now I am very happy I did (decided to wait because of similar hickups with XP prior to SP1). It is compatible with much more software than XP. I run the 64-Bit OS and have a raid 0 configuration so it is lightning fast too!! They have a compatability mode which can run software all the way back to the Windows 3.1 days flawlessly and seamlessly integrated. I am also a system builder which rules out using a Apple PC since I cannot build one. They use proprietary hardware so I cannot just pick up an Apple mother board. I hate Microsoft but I want a computer that allows me to do more, not a machine that limits what I can do and costs about 50% more than a standard PC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    NPGMBR, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    ALL WINDOWS USERS HATERS ARE IDIOTS

    BIG FRIGGING IDIOTS!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Darren Kopp, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    i'm blaming you personally for taking away these ads. I really liked the ads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Roger, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:17am

    Re: The problem IS Microsoft

    We've had to endure MS's monopoly for too long. What about the vulnerabilities and the cost to business of dealing with viruses? What about bloatware installed that slows down the system, not to mention workflow? What about all that annoying stuff such as update alerts that force you to reboot or put up with having to click "Up date later" every five minutes? etc., etc. It's not so much to do with technical expertise, but bad design in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Roger, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    Re: ALL WINDOWS USERS HATERS ARE IDIOTS

    Now we know why Windows users are so happy to put up with such crappy products.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    Re:

    So this guy is spreading word about something he finds boring. This is going to attract a bunch more people to see what "all the fuss is about".

    Looks like the ads are working!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    So what OS is out there that is as versatile as Windows when it comes to supporting hardware and software...and has no flaws?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    R, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Tin Ear, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Who do you want to see next?

    I vote for Bobcat Goldthwaite!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    R3d Jack, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 10:05am

    Re:

    "Serious business and research is done on Microsoft based computers."

    Get real. Power users, such as anyone doing graphics or media, have been using Mac for years. Scientific equipment? What has that to do with a PC? Equipment manufacturers choose Windows simply because it's common, not because it's good.

    I used to be a M$ "subject", and I'm still stuck with them at work. But the family I-Mac kicks my high-end laptop's butt, because OS X is what a PC OS ought to be. I'll get a Mac laptop next time, and use virtualization where I have to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Jake, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 11:38am

    If Microsoft's marketing people want to produce a sitcom, they should submit their resumes to a TV production company. Even if a majority of people found them amusing and informative, unless there's a specific product being endorsed, all their proving is that their founder -who is no longer in day-to-day control anyway- is a really nice guy. That's not going to translate to many sales, considering that most of the IT industry seems to have written Windows Vista off as a glitzy, form-over-function GUI with all the controls needlessly shifted around from previous versions on top of a buggy and badly-tested codebase.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: STOP TRYING TO BE COOL

    "Alienware and Voodoo make much cooler and flashier products than Apple."


    How is Alienware's MarketCap compared to Apples?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Re: STOP TRYING TO BE COOL

    "Buy Vista and get on with doing whatever it is you have a PC for" - thats what they should be selling.



    It would appear thats exactly what they plan on doing!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    John, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:29pm

    A few points

    First, have all the people who are complaining about the ads, actually seen the ads? Just checking.

    Second, yes, I saw both ads and both seemed "off", as if I was missing part of the joke. Bill and Jerry having fun in a shoe store? Um, okay, but what does this have to do with Windows?
    Bill and Jerry getting into trouble because some girls tattled on them? Again, okay, and... what's the point?

    To me, the ads weren't funny, but it is an interesting side to Bill Gates. I wonder if Microsoft was going for the "Dave Thomas (the CEO of Wendy's) is in the ad for Wendy's" type of thing?
    The idea that Bill Gates and Microsoft have connected billions of people is a good motto, but it gets lost in the so-so-ness of the ads.

    On the other hand, I can't stand the "It's really Vista" ads. You know, the ones that say "We told these people that they're using a new operating system called Windows Mojave, but it's really Vista".
    I can understand the "We replaced this fine restaurant's coffee with Folgers" and "We replaced this fine restaurant's pasta with Pizza Hut", but the idea of giving your own product a new name just to fool people smacks of desperation. It's as if Microsoft is admitting that people don't like the words "Windows Vista", so they'll give it a new name just so people will try it.

    Um, vomit-flavored jelly beans still taste like vomit even if you call it "Wonder Beans".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    "Get real. Power users, such as anyone doing graphics or media, have been using Mac for years. Scientific equipment? What has that to do with a PC? Equipment manufacturers choose Windows simply because it's common, not because it's good.

    I used to be a M$ "subject", and I'm still stuck with them at work. But the family I-Mac kicks my high-end laptop's butt, because OS X is what a PC OS ought to be. I'll get a Mac laptop next time, and use virtualization where I have to."

    You obviously know nothing concerning the complexity involved with the hardware that has to be installed inside the PC to communicate with the instruments. 90% of Macs can't even run Spore let alone a Variable Wavelength Detector.

    Go back to drawing your pretty little pictures on your over-priced, under-powered computer. Leave the real work to the adults please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Microsoft can't do anything right...

    First off, billg doesn't even work for Microsoft any more. He retired, but since the current guy in charge has all the charisma of a epileptic seizure they couldn't use him. Then the follow the lead of those brain dead TV execs who cancel everything before it even gets a chance to do anything.

    I've said it before. Microsoft should just give up. They literally can't do anything well any more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    eze, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    "...They have a compatability mode which can run software all the way back to the Windows 3.1 days flawlessly and seamlessly integrated..."
    man, do you understand that is MICOSOFT fault, their lobby, and their way to PUSH and OBLIGATE hardware companies, to register with them, and create PROPIETARY drivers that only works with them , no linux .??? since the beginning, they where smart and evil, hardware was no compatible with other hardware, because THEY wanted to!!, if any hardware company open the source/ specifications of their hardware, you will have thousands of drivers for every linux desktop, and IS the hardware compatibility the MAYOR problem on the average user .
    I belive this is enough to punish the company for what they have done, send the computer systems depending on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    People who generalize are always wrong.

    I've been using Microsoft products since DOS 1. I developed Windows software for 15+ years. I think Vista is a disaster and the blue-screens on the computer with an OEM installation of Vista have nothing to do with the user.

    Maybe it works fine for some people. It did not for me. And furthermore, even when it did, it had literally nothing to offer that was superior for my wants or needs to XP, but it took a huge performance hit anyway.

    By the way I use Linux on all my machines now, and have been working as a Linux developer for the last 3 years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    What's Linux? lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    If they put a Bluebadger in front of the camera for an ad campaign, it won't end well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Cynical Cynic, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Perhaps all part of their cunning plan?

    >>Perhaps this is precisely what they wished to
    >>demonstrate, i.e. that even though they committed
    >>huge amounts of money to a fundamentally flawed
    >>venture, they do listen to critics and will react
    >> appropriately.
    >>
    >> So, no doubt Vista will also soon be canned?

    That can't be true, because it sounds too much like the plot to "The Producers":

    Don't you see, Bill. Darling, Bill, glorious Bill, it's so simple!
    Step one: We find the worst software in the world - a sure flop.
    Step two: I raise three hundred million dollars - there's a lot of lost bald guys in this world.
    Step three: You go back to work on the code. You can do it, Bill, you're a wizard.
    Step four: We send the commercials out, and before you can say 'step five' you release the servicepack.
    Step six: We take our three hundred million dollars and fly to Rio!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Spectere, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: A few points

    The point of the Mojave experiment was to show that people hate on Vista without having used it. If any of the people who'd used "Mojave" had actually used Vista long enough to fairly judge it they would have known right away that Mojave was, in fact, Windows Vista.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    zenboy, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:53pm

    What will they do with the rest of the commercials they filmed?

    Have you heard about the other, unreleased videos that Seinfeld/Gates created? Apparantly they were even worse: they abandon all pretense and directly insult viewers intelligence outright. Czechit: http://tinyurl.com/4k3p9k

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    David Gerard, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    I can see the next one

    "Vista's slow, it's fat, my software doesn't work, I can't get drivers, the User Access Control's a pain in the ass and my network grinds to a crawl when I play an mp3! What do you call that?"

    "... The Aristocrats!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    I wonder if Wagged was mad that Crispin Porter + Bogusky owned creative and they launched a counter attack attack on the ads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    fake steve, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    CRAY VISTACOMPUTER!

    Let's talk about innovation!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:55pm

    After the new ad aired tonight before Colbert...

    I realized Colbert is always right. Did you see the tie in? Don Rickles!

    http://techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20080905/1337532180#c578

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Sep 19th, 2008 @ 3:29am

    Microsoft: Keep Seinfeld, dump Vista!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    TSH, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 8:56pm

    Finally pulled!

    After losing every single document and image on my Windows PC (which had a firewall and all necessary anti-virus software installed and working) I once again purchased a windows based PC. This one was Vista, and I've nothing but problems.

    The screen shakes when you're not expecting it 'adjusting' itself it tells me. It shuts down for no apparent reason. I get the Blue Screen of Death frequently. All of this, I have been told by my IT people, is Vista.

    And yet - my three macbook pros haven't had one issue. They've never locked up and had to be shut down. They can handle me having skype, photoshop cs3, lightroom, itunes, preview, bridge, firefox and safari all open and in use at the same time without slowing down. This includes having multiple raw image files open and in use.

    So - yes, I find the mac ads amusing. Especially the Sad Song.

    I was curious to see what Microsoft would do with the amount of money they spent and the fact that they hired Seinfeld, and comedian I love.

    When I saw the first commercial I actually cringed in embarrassment for the two of them. Honestly, it was awful...and so were the others that followed along behind it.

    Yes, I got the jokes. It didn't make the commercials any less cringe worthy. Not quite as terrible as the fake Vista ads...yet bad nonetheless.

    So...I'm glad they pulled them. I agree with everyone who says the money would have been better spent on fixing Vista.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Problem Child, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 2:24pm

    Online Critics had little to do with it.

    Have you any idea how long it would take for Microsoft to pull and replace those ads if they had already created and purchased air time for them? Much, much longer than a couple of weeks. I think you're giving the "Online Critics" too much credit here.

    The $300 campaign is likely not around Seinfeld, but around Windows in general. Remember a few months ago, in Fast Company, where Cripsin Porter execs were talking about the campaign and mentioned that there would be accompanying print ads and billboards? There are: Only with the "I'm a PC" slogan. You really think they could fire Seinfeld, shoot new ads, create billboards, get an as in Wired magazine (October issue, which has a 2 week lead time) and put them on TV in 2 weeks?

    Uh... not a chance. Not even for Microsoft. This was planned. ANd the buzz they're generating is (surprisingly) tremendous.

    P.S. Even the NY Times article shows that the Seinfeld ads were negatively received only at first, but generated a huge amount of positive buzz by the end of their run.

    http://tinyurl.com/3q3fq8

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Re: A few points

    >>Um, vomit-flavored jelly beans still taste
    >>like vomit even if you call it "Wonder Beans".

    Call them Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and watch them sell out!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Some guy @ work, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 12:13am

    Re: Mistakerosoft Ads

    I luv vista. seriously. i'm not kidding. once u tweak it by getting rid of all the annoyances... it works great. iv been running it for going on like a year and a half and iv blue-screened twice. TWICE. my average uptime is 19 days b4 either something i install or a av patch forces me 2 reboot. and im not runnin a server farm worth of machine neither. basic core 2 2.3 w/ 2 gigz of ram and a 7300le nvidia gfx crd. now... if u spent less than $30.00 US on your machine... i could understand your frustration.... but if uv got a decent rig... then the only reason to hate vista is cuz u dont know windows enough to make it do what u want it to do. and who's fault is that? not microsofts. they make money w/ software... not by educating the lame.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This