Monday, September 8, 2008

Microsoft Goes Funny?

Anyone watching tv this weekend, probably noticed this new commercial from Microsoft. At 90 seconds long and featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, it's a little hard to miss. But did it work? I remember, despite Bill Gates front and center, being surprised and a little disappointed that it was a Microsoft commercial. I guess I naively thought Seinfeld and Gates were endorsing something entirely different and expected some sort of better pay off. Or maybe I just don't get it.

It's such an oddball spot for any brand, especially Microsoft. Was it amusing? Yes. Did it hold my attention? Yes (although mostly in an effort to figure out where the spot was going). Did I laugh? A little. Was it memorable? Sure. Did it improve Microsoft's image to me? No, but then again I'm a die hard mac user. The trouble is, while the first time I watched rather amused at Bill Gates' attempt to act, by my second time watching it (for this post) I really wasn't a fan of it at all. I found it much less entertaining and rather annoyingly long. Am I being too harsh?

This TechCrunch post gives us a little insider information into Microsoft's marketing with an internal memo posted there. Apparently they're going for humor and humanity. I see it, but I just don't think it's working. We'll just have to see how the rest of the campaign unfolds... What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I can't decide on this thing. It's clearly following the same formula as the TV show (i.e. commercial about nothing). But maybe that's the problem. The show doesn't have to have a payoff. An ad is supposed to. They would have been better never to have mentioned Microsoft. Not even a logo at the end. People know Gates by face. That would have been truer to the show. Then again, maybe they shouldn't be using a formula that's more than a decade old in the first place. I dunno.

Suzanne said...

Yeah, when I first saw this commercial I thought it was going to be an endorsement for (obviously) some shoe retailer. When I saw the Microsoft flag at the end of the commercial I did a double take. Couldn't believe that was what it was for and then had to think back to the commercial to figure out what messaging Microsoft was trying to get across with the commercial. (I couldn't)

Now, I'm just greatly annoyed when the commercial comes on.