Microsoft Ditches Seinfeld for “Phase Two”

By: Chris Crum - September 18, 2008

Despite people trying to convince me that the Microsoft Seinfeld ad campaign was indeed funny after I (and a pretty good-sized percentage of bloggers and online journalists) bashed the initial one, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on Seinfeld.  Let me say right off, I don’t blame Seinfeld for the ads being lame. They should’ve just had Larry David write them.

Microsoft’s PR firm Waggener Edstrom told Valleywag not only was Microsoft pulling that plug, but also that they had planned to do so anyway. "People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected," said a Waggener Edstrom PR guy.

So let me get this straight, they paid Jerry $10 million for 2 ads, which came out within something like two weeks, with the intention of canceling the campaign immediately after? They must have a lot of money left from that proposed Yahoo! deal that they have nothing else to do with.

Or maybe it’s not really over. "I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t some stunt just to drum up more false publicity — taking Seinfeld away for a few ads before he makes a triumphant return — but if this really is the end, I’m going to have to call Microsoft’s ads a failure," writes MG Siegler at Venture Beat. It’s an interesting theory, but I’m leaning more toward the failure part.

That’s probably not fair though. It hasn’t been a total failure. Some people enjoyed it, and as many have pointed out, the campaign got people talking about it this much, so it did work in that respect, but when so many are talking about it in a negative light, is that really going to help sell their product (whatever that may be…some kind of edible computer or something?)? Here are the two ads in case you want to review them:

The entire ad campaign is a $300 Million job. Microsoft is telling everyone that moving past Seinfeld, they are going to enter "phase two." I wonder who they’re going to bring us this time. Please don’t be Frank Caliendo! According to Valleywag, "phase two" will be announced tomorrow.

Update: Gizmodo is reporting that though these new ads will be focused on more, Microsoft and Seinfeld haven’t parted ways yet.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Adam – E-commerce Web Design

    I enjoyed the adverts as they were entertaining to watch, but they weren’t funny. A bit like Back To You or Just Shoot Me.

    • Chris Crum

      Haha. Interesting comparisons.

  • Guest

    These commercials could’ve been great… if Larry David had written them. He is the king of oddball weired comedy, which is what they were going for here.

  • matt

    This campaign was supposed to counter Apple’s attack on microsoft?

    Like the subject of the Senfeld show, These commercials have done NOTHING to counter Apple’s attack ads.

  • Debbie Morgan

    Instead of trying to trump Apple’s humor, which apparently they didn’t do, why don’t they just try to put out a better product. I’m not happy with Windows Vista which makes the Apple ads not just funny but appealing.

    As a web site owner of a safety and security web site, I’m on the computer quite a bit. It would be nice to have a windows program that didn’t work against me at times.

    If the commercial phase two is like their lastest windows phase we’re in for another Vista!

  • Guest

    If I had the budget of 100 million the ads would have been interesting. Anyone can poke fun and have a good time doing it, even with taste.  Like Jerry Seinfeld eating a apple during one of the scenes, then later drop it in a later scene. It certainly couldn’t be any worse than what was released to the public.

  • Destinii Haruya

    Oh… my… god. And I thought Google were stupid. Stop fussing over ads and just bring out a better system! I used my friend’s Vista for a short while and never, ever used one again. (Yes, I’m still on my old XP Home. I could never afford Pro back then…) First thing, BETTER-LOOKING INTERFACE. How about that black look you used for WLM9 and the new WMP? Second, and more importantly, no glitches. Absolutely no glitches. This is the 21st century, not the 1970s. Third, easy navigation! What’s the point of a system if you can’t even tell where that file you just downloaded went to? Where your flash drive is? Where Paint is, should you ever possibly want to use it? And please, please, don’t ever give us annoying little gimmicks ever again.

    Back on the subject of the ads… I have no idea what Phase Two will be. Most likely some knockoff of one of Apple’s ads. This is getting worse than BT Yahoo vs Virgin and Nintendo vs Sega combined. It’s just not professional to attack your competitors in your adverts… and it sucks. Big time. Sorry to be kinda immature, but it’s the only way to say it.