Bill Gates + Jerry Seinfeld = What?!?

By Reuters  |  Posted 09-05-2008 Print Email
What sounded like a perfect marketing formula started with a big flop, Reuters' MediaFile blog writes.

Jerry Seinfeld, a huge marketing budget, and well-respected agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky would seem a recipe for success. Unfortunately for Microsoft, which kicked off a $300 million advertising campaign last night, the first commercial debuted to lukewarm reviews.

Microsoft is hoping to improve the image of its Windows Vista operating system and take some of the sting out of those popular "Mac vs. PC" advertisements run by Apple. It hired Seinfeld to help, and the first commercial featured the comedian and Bill Gates at a shoe store.

The problem, it seems, is that many people just didn't get the commercial.  Here's a sampling.

"I don't get it. And seeing how the punchline was, ummm, Bill Gates adjusting his shorts, I don't think I want to get it." -- ZDNet

"Seinfeld and Gates are like The Odd Couple, but awkwardly odd. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot more of these Jerry and Bill segments. Let's hope their chemistry improves." -- VentureBeat

"When we first heard that Microsoft was prepping an ad campaign starring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld I was cautiously optimistic. Gates has a good sense of humor about himself, and Jerry might not be your cup of tea but he can be pretty funny now and again. The first ad has hit TV screens across the nation and... I don't think I even have words for it." -- MacUser

"Anyone know what this is supposed to do except raise awareness of, well, Jerry?" -- Geardiary

Keep an eye on:

- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, unknown to most Americans a week ago, nearly matched Barack Obama's record TV audience with her feisty speech accepting the Republican nomination for vice president, topping 37 million U.S. viewers (Reuters)
- Nearly one in five US households watches TV programming online, double the number in 2006, a new survey from research organizations TNS and the Conference Board shows (NY Post)
- A federal judge in Texas delayed ruling until as late as November on whether EchoStar Corp owes TiVo more damages for infringing on its "Time Warp" digital video recorder technology (Reuters)
- ESPN is merging video game graphics with real-life sports anchors (NY Times)

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