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Seinfeld-Windows TV Ad Anything But 'Delicious' 893

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-whole-lotta-meh dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft's $300-million ad campaign for Windows starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld launched Thursday with a long TV commercial almost entirely devoid of any talk of Windows, Microsoft or anything, really. With co-star Bill Gates, the scene is set in a shopping mall. Seinfeld, who did most of the talking, helps Gates buy a pair of shoes called the Conquistador. The commercial ends with Seinfeld asking Gates if Microsoft will "come out with something that makes our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can just eat them while we're working." Gates wiggles his rear to answer in the affirmative. The commercial ends (see video inside the story) with the Windows logo and the phrase 'Delicious.' Preston Gralla writes, 'I just saw Microsoft's much ballyhooed Jerry Seinfeld ad, and can say without equivocation it's one of the worst, most pointless ads in history. If this is Microsoft's response to the 'I'm a Mac' ads, it should fold up its tent and tell the world to switch to Apple."
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Seinfeld-Windows TV Ad Anything But 'Delicious'

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:07PM (#24892963) Journal

    Seinfeld-Windows TV Ad Anything But 'Delicious'

    Are you crazy? I found that ad effective & informative.

    I can't wait to get down to my local shoe store to try out a pair of "The Conquistador" although everyone knows they 'run tight.' I can't wait to finally have shoes I can wear in my shower!

    Well, there goes my ability to watch any reruns of Seinfeld ... starring a Microsoft shill & a racist.

    I caught this ad on TV with my non-technical retail employed roommate. And, acknowledging my predisposition to the big evil, I turned and atonally inquired what he thought of the commercial. "What?" he replied, "I don't think when I watch commercials, I just watch them." My god, it's worse than I thought, normal people just might digest this!

  • I thought... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KeatonMill (566621) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:08PM (#24892979)

    ... that it was kind of hilarious in a post-modern "we're Microsoft, what the fuck are we gonna do?" sort of way.

    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#24893063) Journal

      ... that it was kind of hilarious in a post-modern "we're Microsoft, what the fuck are we gonna do?" sort of way.

      You mean, "Where do we want to go today?" sort of way?

      Sounds like Microsoft with Alzheimer's.

    • Re:I thought... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MMC Monster (602931) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:16PM (#24893127)

      The add made little sense. It didn't mention computers at all until the last 10 seconds.

      It was kinda funny, but not even typical Seinfeld humor.

      I think Microsoft should get a refund from the ad agency.

      • Re:I thought... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by azav (469988) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:28PM (#24893327) Homepage Journal

        But the end... the end... that setup, the punch line/butt wiggle and Jerry's response? Uhhh, just non funny, dumb and baffling. There are many things about Bill Gates that are not funny. The body he inhabits and all parts contained within qualify under that designation.
         
        Just. Bad.

        • by zullnero (833754) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:59PM (#24893873) Homepage
          Oh, I can think of something worse. They could have had Ballmer shaking his ass. That would have made me and anyone else subjected to that commercial wretch, and I would feel nauseous whenever I see a churro from there on out.

          I saw an ad recently with Ballmer's face, and it scared the hell out of me. I realized that Microsoft gained its fame because Bill Gates looks to average people as a trustworthy geek who might help them with their modem or spreadsheets. Ballmer, however, looks like someone who might scream at you for making his coffee wrong or not doing your spreadsheets correctly.
        • Re:I thought... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yppupcinataS.> on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:02PM (#24893941) Journal

          I thought it was quite clever actually.

          You have to understand what they're going for...When was the last time you saw a Mac commercial that was really about something technical? They just don't do that, they sell this fun "image", this personified "I'm your buddy" thing which has little or nothing to do with your computer.

          That's what MS is trying to counter. They're trying to humanize their image, build up some emotional investment in their brand.

          I saw it cold actually, on TV, but I'd heard about it and I was geared up to scream "BULLSHIT!!!!" when the stupid claims started, which kinda threw me when they never did, I must admit.

          Despite that knee jerk, and despite all my MS related baggage, I was semi-amused at various points. It was clever. Surreal, yes, but amusing.

          And they're getting mad play, jesus, everyone looking at the ad online. I think it may play somewhat for them in the long run, but it's too early to tell.

          • Re:I thought... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ceoyoyo (59147) on Friday September 05, 2008 @06:27PM (#24895323)

            Come on, that's a long way to go to bash Apple. Every ad mentions some feature and compares it between the two platforms. You might disagree with the features they choose, or the accuracy of their assessment of them, but every commercial talks about the product, very directly.

            The old dancing silhouette commercials for iPods were a little less specific, but they were still showing the product, and showing people having fun with it.

            This commercial doesn't talk about or show any Microsoft product at all, except a vague mention at the very end vaguely comparing a computer (MS doesn't make computers) to cake.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:29PM (#24894431)

        The add made little sense.

        Agreed. I think it will divide the audience at best, and in the worst case will subtract from the value of their product.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:18PM (#24893157)

      I thought that Seinfeld was acting like he just smoked a whole bag full of weed and Gates was just annoyed with him.

    • Re:I thought... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KeatonMill (566621) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:22PM (#24893235)

      I should specify that I was watching it with some buddies of mine and had (up until this point) been quite raucous throughout the football game. But this commercial confused the hell out of us.

      "Is it for charity?"

      "Is it for shoes?"

      "Is it for some sort of policy initiative?"

      Nope. Windows. ...delicious.

    • Re:I thought... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OldManAndTheC++ (723450) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:29PM (#24893377)

      I saw it as, "We took the money we got from every computer you ever bought, and used it to make this crappy commercial!"

      Bill Gates can wiggle his flabby ass all he wants -- I will never forgive them for Internet Explorer.

  • by Merlin42 (148225) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:09PM (#24892993) Homepage

    Clearly the OP does not really understand what advertising is usually about. Most mass market advertising does not try to provide information, it is providing associations. It presents something enjoyable (here it is assumed that Seinfeld+Gates==Enjoyable) and then presents the branding that they want to be associated with that enjoyable feeling. The crazy part is that this works, and in a weird way can be suggested as actually improving the product. Since the next time the subject of the advertising uses/sees the product, they will subconsiously access that association with enjoyment ... therefore the product is more enjoyable as a result of the advertising.

    I am not saying that this is a good thing, but it is how things work in the real world.

    Now you can argue either way as to whether Seinfeld+Gates=Delicious ... I didn't actually watch the comercial myself ... but they might be reaching as far a transitive association all the way back to the Seinfeld show, which almost everyone agrees was enjoyable. In any case I don't think there was ever any intent to have actual informative content in the comercial ... they are just "building the brand".

    See Seth Godin's book "All Marketers Are Liars"
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/all_marketers_are_liars/ [typepad.com]

    or a quick review of it here:
    http://www.businesspundit.com/lying-marketing-and-perception/ [businesspundit.com]

    • by kat_skan (5219) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:31PM (#24893401)

      Clearly the OP does not really understand what advertising is usually about. Most mass market advertising does not try to provide information, it is providing associations. It presents something enjoyable (here it is assumed that Seinfeld+Gates==Enjoyable) and then presents the branding that they want to be associated with that enjoyable feeling. The crazy part is that this works, and in a weird way can be suggested as actually improving the product. Since the next time the subject of the advertising uses/sees the product, they will subconsiously access that association with enjoyment ... therefore the product is more enjoyable as a result of the advertising.

      I am not saying that this is a good thing, but it is how things work in the real world.

      Having seen the ad, and thinking of others that have been defended in this way, I've come to suspect that this in fact doesn't work at all, and that what you're repeating actually originated as marketing for marketing. "Don't worry. It's supposed to be horrible!"

      I mean, it ended with Bill Gates coyly wiggling his ass for chrissake!

      • by tknd (979052) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:59PM (#24893885)

        I've come to suspect that this in fact doesn't work at all

        It may not work for you, but step back for a second and consider your background. You're knowledgeable about computers, probably a geek of some sort, and tend to be subjective of anything. Given that, this ad may not have targeted you at all. Instead, depending on the show, time, location, and where the commercial aired, will give you hint as to who they are targeting. If it was during a mid-day soap opera then they are probably targeting stay-home wives. If it was during an American football game on ESPN then they're probably targeting low to mid income men. My guess (I can't watch the commercial right now) is they are targeting the average Joe who gets his computer from Best Buy. If that's the case, this may already be a success. We'll have to see how sales of computer manufacturers like Apple, HP, Dell, etc fair after this ad campaign to see how effective it really was.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by David Gerard (12369)

      This ad appears to be about winning industry awards rather than selling something. British ad agencies are particularly susceptible to this, but US ones are far from immune.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:11PM (#24894093)

      Clearly the OP does not really understand what advertising is usually about. Most mass market advertising does not try to provide information, it is providing associations. It presents something enjoyable (here it is assumed that Seinfeld+Gates==Enjoyable) and then presents the branding that they want to be associated with that enjoyable feeling.

      And that goes a long way to explain the commercial. Jerry Seinfeld for a bit of comedic glue to set the absurd scene. Shoe shopping. Churros. And a promise to offer computing so enjoyable that its like eating moist cake as you work. Which ties in to the churros and also sets itself up to be compared to someone else's "lickable" interface.

  • Mug shot (Score:5, Funny)

    by UnixRawks (705739) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:10PM (#24893007) Journal
    I did find it humorous that they used his mug shot [thesmokinggun.com] for his photo on his membership(?) card for the shoe store.
  • by BigAssRat (724675) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:12PM (#24893035)
    If I didn't know that it was Bill gates I would have had just about no idea what that commercial was about. It was pretty stupid and pointless in my opinion.
  • by Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) * <slashdotNO@SPAMizabael.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:12PM (#24893037) Homepage Journal
    Thank god I can finally scratch that off my list of things to see before I die.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      i don't think that was a wiggle. in fact at his age I doubt there's much of anything to wiggle back there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)

      Did anyone notice: the photo on his club discount shoe card or whatever...is his mug shot from when he was arrested in Albuqurque?

  • Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:12PM (#24893041) Journal

    Slashdot ... you win first prize. You just fell for, and greatly aided, Microsoft's viral marketing campaign.

  • by nog_lorp (896553) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#24893053)

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=seinfeld%20windows&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv# [google.com]

    I'm... I don't know... um... WHAT THE FUCK? Intelligent response in maybe 15 minutes when I've recovered.

  • by oddman (204968) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#24893055)

    It's got everyone even remotely connected to technology talking about Microsoft.

  • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#24893061) Homepage Journal

    I now want a delicious churro. Clearly they're coming out with Microsoft Churros. It's a logical step up from the X-Box... who doesn't snack while they play?

    What? That wasn't the point of the ad? I can't imagine what else it would be.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#24893065) Homepage Journal
    A large table dominates the room. [multiply.com]Sleek metal chairs are located around the table, all of which sits on a raised platform above a large pool full of sharks. Various nervous looking henchmen sit in the chairs, watching their beloved leader. A squeaking whiny voice speaks:

    Bill Gates (for it is he): Now, I've been thinking about our advertising, how we get the message out that Vista is the best operating system ever written, and I was watching TV last night.

    Steve Ballmer: Oh, excellent my master! Excellent!

    Steve chortles uncontrollably

    Bill Gates: Shut up number 2. Now, I noticed two things. First of all, there is a hilarious comedian on the television called Jerry Seinfeld.

    Various flunkies nod.

    Number 8: Oh yes, he's very funny

    Number 9: I agree my master. We were all talking about his hilarious show around our water cooler earlier today.

    Number 5: Indeed. In my department, I couldn't get to the water cooler because of the number of people talking about his show. It is the funniest show on television. You are so right number one, you are...

    Bill Gates sighs

    Gates: Silence! Now, the other thing I noticed was a theme to many of the advertisements. Let me show you.

    The table turns around, with the chairs parting to form a straight line parallel to and facing a giant unfolding screen. The lights dim, and an image appears on screen.

    McCain: I'm John McCain, and I approve this message. Barack Obama says he's for the common man. But he's actually just a typical liberal elitist.

    Obama: Poor people suck. I'm a big dofus. Look at me with my big car and fancy house.

    McCain: Do you really want this person becoming President, or would you rather that a real American be in the White House?

    The screen changes to show a new ad. This time the word "Hope" appears in big letters on the screen.

    Obama: I know what it's like to be at the bottom. I grew up in a family so poor we used to have to live in a paper bag. Every morning, we used to have to get up before we went to bed, lick road clean, and every night our parents would beat us, bury us, and dance on our graves. But my opponent John McCain was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, listen to his real world experience:

    McCain: Look at me, I'm an old person who doesn't even know how to use an Interweb. I have sixteen houses because I keep forgetting where they all are and so have to keep buying new ones to live in.

    Obama: Do you really think that guy can relate to us? Do you really want him to become President? Vote for me, change you can believe in. I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

    The lights come back on and the table and chairs go back into position.

    Gates: You see, I'm noticing a common theme. What the common people want is to know their leaders aren't elitist, whatever that means.

    Number 17: Er, Mr Gates. I don't want to talk out of turn, but those are election ads, they're not trying to sell computer operating systems.

    There is a deathly hush. Gates motions to Balmer:

    Gates: Number 2...

    Balmer picks up a chair. Number 17 gets up and starts to back away.

    Number 17: Please! I meant no disrespect! I was just trying to help! No! Please!

    Balmer coldly follows 17 and carefully aims the chair. Finally, with a single thrust of the arms, the chair is thrown. All four legblades hit 17 together. He staggers backwards, bleeding profusely, and falls off of the platform into the shark tank, screaming as he goes.

    Gates: As I was saying. The people want to know that their leaders are not elitists, that we can relate to the comm
  • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:15PM (#24893091) Homepage Journal

    I want my damn minute back!

  • I get it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Brett Buck (811747) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:15PM (#24893099)

    It's an "Ad about Nothing"!

  • by Dan East (318230) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:16PM (#24893119) Homepage Journal

    The ad was a complete success. Can you believe that, after reading about it on Google News, I actually sought out and watched the commercial? Can you believe that right this very moment you are reading some unimportant commentary by someone whose opinion doesn't matter whatsoever about a TV commercial?

    Score one for Microsoft.

    • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:26PM (#24893317) Homepage Journal

      This is only if you accept the idea that all publicity is good publicity, which seems to be a popular idea these days, but always seemed kinda dubious to me.

      I saw the ad, and I'm not going to buy Windows. Anyone to whom I link to the ad, I will enclose said link in language making fun of Microsoft, so likely they will also not buy Windows. In fact, this ad is so bad that most who see it will actually want to buy something else, which in this case would be a Mac, or at least anything but the product which it purports to advertise.

      Score one for Microsoft in making it easier for those who already don't like them to make fun of them, and for those who weren't sure to take a step back and think, "Wow, these guys are out of touch."

  • Oh Please.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sounder40 (243087) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:16PM (#24893123)
    It wasn't like the first "I'm a Mac" was funny or anything... That was M$'s first one. Let's see a few more before we label the whole thing a bomb.

    And please don't tell my friends I said anything that sounded like a defense of M$... I have a reputation to uphold!
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:22PM (#24893221)

    These adds are just suppose to make people think that Microsoft knows the average Joe, that they are a approachable friendly company. Kinda like how Exon Mobile has those commercials to show their R&D in alternative energy aka "not placing all your eggs in one basket" The goal isn't to switch Mac or Linux people to Windows but keep Windows people on Windows. Most likely Seinfeld (a 1990s star during Microsoft PR heyday period, where they were considered to be the most innovative products out there, by many people) help bring back the feeling of the 1990's where running Windows was considered the cool thing to do, and running Mac or Unix was just prolonging the death of an obsolete platform, and Linux was just a Fad OS that will go away once Windows 95 is released.

    It is kinda like see how good things use to be when Microsoft was your favorite OS.

  • Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:23PM (#24893257)
    MS need not fold it's tent, they hold a market share that almost any company in any other industry would kill for... and while the ad may be crappy, so what? They really don't even need to advertise, people know who they are anyway and will likely keep buying MS for the forseable future. Like them or not, their brand recognition is huge.
  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:28PM (#24893335)
    Delicious, butt-wagging, Seinfeld, cheap shoe stores being abhorrent, poking fun at Mexicans...what do all these things have in common?

    Look at your common PHB. Likes "delicious food" as opposed to what the Mac guy eats, probably raw food or wheat grass or something. Thinks butt-wagging and slapstick are funny. Probably laughs at Seinfeld re-runs. Is glad he doesn't shop at the cheap shoe store for athletic shoes, but probably gets his dress shoes there, because who can tell. Has Mexican neighbors, is uncomfortable knowing he's in the same class they are.

    This ad is brilliantly tarteted as a sort of subconscious reminder that PHB doesn't have to be a Mac guy, darnit, and he's good enough. Microsoft is here to shove more Applebees cake down his throat.
  • What? (Score:4, Funny)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:33PM (#24893431) Homepage

    What's the message? "Vista is hard, let's go shopping!"

    I toldja, they shoulda gone with a tried and tested comedic genius. http://tinyurl.com/5c3r6y [tinyurl.com]

  • by conner_bw (120497) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:43PM (#24893583) Homepage Journal

    Seinfeld the comedian does OK on the stage in front of an audience, speak + pause + laugh + continue, but Seinfeld the show was funny because of this guy [wikipedia.org]. This commercial lacks the depth of a multi-faceted Larry David narrative and fails to be funny. Looks like Microsoft hired the wrong guy...

  • by merreborn (853723) on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:15PM (#24894191) Journal

    I, too, was throughly unimpressed by the ad, but there is one thing they didn't do: Play Apple's mud slinging game.

    I enjoy the "I'm a mac" ads -- they're just about the only commercials I'll intentionally watch -- but they're pretty aggressive. They blatantly, and actively attempt to belittle their competition. The latest two show "PC" resting on his laurels, and trying to deceive people into purchasing him -- both suggesting that "PC" doesn't have his users' best interests at heart.

    This commercial doesn't do that at all. Some have speculated that was the goal: making it clear that they feel that they don't have to insult their competition. Whether they're just trying to win points for being the nice guy, or they're trying to suggest that they don't have to stoop to Apple's level because they're just that superior, I don't know.

  • by Wingsy (761354) on Friday September 05, 2008 @06:15PM (#24895153)
    Remember those old BASF commercials? Kinda reminds me of those, where at the end I'm left wondering just what it is I'm supposed to buy. Shoes? Chips? Hula lessons?

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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