Microsoft Ditches Seinfeld for “Phase Two”

    September 18, 2008
    Chris Crum

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.