Archive for the ‘advertising’ Tag

Bill and Jerry’s Microsoft ads

Microsoft has an interesting new series of ads featuring company co-founder and chairman of the board Bill Gates hanging out with Jerry Seinfeld. Here’s the first spot:

In the best Seinfeldian tradition, they’re basically ads about nothing: no Microsoft products are mentioned and computers are never seen.  The ads center around Gates and Seinfeld trying to “connect” with “real people.” And I think they’re funny. Check out the second, longer spot:

I think this is a very interesting advertising approach. It seems the basic goal is to simply get customers thinking positively about Microsoft and their frontman, who haven’t always gotten the best press. The spots couldn’t have cost much to produce (beyond Seinfeld’s fees), and each has been viewed almost a million times each in the past few days on YouTube alone, though they’re also being televised.

I think it is fun to see Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world (current networth: $58 billion), making fun of himself.  He comes across as very likable in the two ads and he seems to have a good sense of humor.  If you look closely in the first ad, you can see that the picture on his Shoe Circus Clown Club membership card is his mugshot from a 1977 arrest (for a traffic violation in Albuquerque).

The ads also tie Jerry Seinfeld, a very well-liked guy, to the Microsoft brand; no doubt the software giant hopes that people’s warm feelings about the comedian to rub off on their software products.  Hey, if Jerry Seinfeld is in an ad with Bill Gates, Microsoft can’t be that evil of an empire, right?