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

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  1. identicon
    Chris, 6 Sep 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Not your demographic

    The problem with the people who wrote all those reviews? They're all old. The mainstream blogosphere is extremely skewed away from this commercial's target demographic. They don't want the old IT guy at joe bob's computer emporium to start using Vista. They know that getting people aged 10-30 to use windows is where it's at. They can still be influenced.

    I'm currently 22 - and Seinfeld is one of my favorite shows of all time (only behind Arrested Development and The Office). Ever think what these three shows have in common? Extremely absurd humor. Who do they generally appeal to? Not old people. I think all these critics really showed their age with this raining down of criticism. They showed that they aren't in touch with what's new and going on in the world, and this advertising company showed just how intelligent they are. It's a funny ad - it keeps you interested - and in the end you think "Wow....Bill Gates isn't some ancient weirdo locked in the basement still working on DOS." Instead I'm left thinking - Bill Gates is a pretty quirky funny guy....and I think I like that. It makes you feel better about Microsoft - and thus their products. It's not trying to be hip. It's not faux hip. You don't even know what hip is. This ad is quirky, intelligent, and funny. That's what they were going for. It's all win.

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