So Much Hate For Microsoft's Seinfeld/Gates Buddy Ad

from the what's-wrong-with-it? dept

I wasn't going to comment on Microsoft's new ad campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates buddying around, but the response among the press and bloggers is almost universally negative -- often in extreme ways, and I don't get why there's such a virulent negative reaction. Just a few examples: And that's just a quick sampling that I grabbed in a few seconds. It goes on and on from there. To be honest, I'm not sure I get this massive negative reaction. The ad itself is a little silly and barely mentions Microsoft at all, but isn't that bad at all.
And, to be perfectly frank, you have to think that Microsoft is thrilled with the reaction. It's gotten a ton more people talking about the campaign than any normal ad program, and it actually does a bit to humanize Bill Gates. And, it fits in with what we've been discussing about how advertising needs to be content first and advertising later.

Also, I'm a bit surprised that none of the commentators seem to be comparing this to the very similar efforts that American Express did four years ago also with Jerry Seinfeld. They created a series of "shorts" somewhat similar to the Seinfeld/Gates episode, and people enjoyed them. Is it just because it involves Microsoft that people react so negatively? Already Microsoft has been able to draw people into the storyline (even if negatively), and it can now use future episodes to continue to entertain and educate. That seems like a good thing, not something to be so widely trashed.

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  1. identicon
    m74k3H, 8 Sep 2008 @ 6:57am

    Left me confused...

    I would be considered a Mac fan and a Microsoft-basher, but I've earned a good salary working on software for Windows and have used Microsoft products, I'm certainly don't think I'm a hater.

    So with that, the Microsoft commercial left me confused. I haven't studied Marketing, but my basic understand is that a) want people to know you have a product and b) make the customer believe they want it. The presence of Bill Gates and the Microsoft blurb at then end clearly announced the company. However, the best I could figure out is that they were suggesting something big in the future. And while they seem to be linking choosing a computer with buying shoes, most average computer users aren't going to buy this.

    I can only guess this is a lead up to other commercials that would clarify the message.

    I think this is where Apple's commercials are so much better. They push the message clearly that you can save your pictures, make movies, do homework easily on a Mac.

    I do have to say the platinum card was a genius move for anyone who got the joke.

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