Microsoft Seinfeld Ad Not Exactly a Hit

    September 5, 2008
    Chris Crum

The first of those Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates Microsoft commercials has made its way into the public eye – an eye that most wish had remained closed. Microsoft’s attempt to bring some humor into their advertising campaign, and presumably to outdo the Justin Long Mac commercials, has been met with an overwhelming amount of criticism.

While I’m sure there are some out there who enjoyed the commercial, it’s almost as if it were met with a collective thumbs down from reporters and bloggers ‘netwide. Before I go any further, take a minute to view the clip yourself if you haven’t yet. Ok, it’s closer to a minute and a half, which doesn’t help its cause either, but here you go.

For one, it’s hard to tell what Microsoft is even trying to push with this ad. For two, it’s just not funny. This is only opinion of course, but as I said, it’s a very popular one. It’s not a matter of just not being into Seinfeld’s brand of humor. I (as I’m sure a great many other critics are) am a big fan of the show Seinfeld. It’s a matter of just plain annoying advertising.

I am the type of person who is very easily annoyed with commercials when they are played frequently (this is especially a problem for me as football season gets underway), and the thought of having to sit through this as often as the Mac commercials does not bring a smile to my face. That’s really the least funny part about the ad. Granted, I’m sure the ad will be trimmed from its minute-and-a-half form for regular television airplay, but that doesn’t really change a whole lot.

This isn’t just a rant about why I don’t like this commercial. The news here is that Microsoft has spent a ton of money (about $300 million) on this new advertising campaign, and nobody seems to like it. Here are some examples:

"Seinfeld’s first commercial starring Bill Gates is out — shot in a mall shoe store — and it’s not going to help Microsoft look any cooler," says Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider.

"Personally, I’m not convinced this is starting on on the right foot. My wife initially saw the commercial this evening and her response was basically ‘I don’t get it.’ It’s one thing to try to be ‘hip’, but it’s another thing to try but completely fail at getting your message across. The attempt at humor is a nice change, though," says Josh Pigford at The Apple Blog (emphasis added).

Jackson West at Valleywag writes, "The whole production says ‘quirky,’ not slick or cool, but then Windows Vista is full of maddening quirks."

Gizmodo’s Jason Chen says, "In fact, there’s not really a whole lot of anything, including laughs, information or pimping of Vista. It’s kinda like Seinfeld’s really long, really rambling Superman ad for Amex he did a few years back. We hope the rest of the campaign is better."

You get the idea. Some people haven’t given up on the campaign entirely. This is only the first ad in a series that will likely feature other celebrities. Maybe they will get better. For the record, I find the Mac commercials annoying too.