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.

Filed Under: advertisement, bill gates, content, jerry seinfeld
Companies: microsoft

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Ben, 5 Sep 2008 @ 7:09pm

    The problem I have with this commercial is the utter lack of any sense or theme. Yes, Seinfeld was a show about nothing, but it was not a show where everything was random and nothing made sense.

    This commercial goes from slow to bizzare to vapid in a minute and a half. Shoe shopping? Moist? Delicious? Middle Age Fanny Waggling? Spanish speakers peering through the storefront window? WTF? For the human brain, which craves patterns and themes and wants desperately to grasp onto something of substance, this commercial doesn't even leave us with questions. It is random in the most absurd and unfunny way possible, and leaves us wondering whether we just emerged from a dream in existential crisis brought on by too much pizza before bedtime.

    Maybe Microsoft's advertising jockeys have a plan to build a framework of... something... around this weirdness in future commercials. I hope they do. If they release anything short of genius after this the public is going to just ignore them and the geeks will skewer them.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.