Friday, September 5, 2008

Microsoft: A True Underdog Story

Microsoft signed a $10 million contract with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to star in a series of ads with Bill Gates. The goal? To make Microsoft "hip."

The first ad has been released; watch the horror for yourself:

My only response is this: HUH?
That might be the most pointless advertisement I've ever seen. Did anyone find that funny? And why is Bill Gates acting, anyway?

Not only was that one commercial a complete failure (at least to me) at making Microsoft "hip," but the whole plan has been doomed from the beginning.

See, Apple can be called "hip" because "young people" are the primary consumers. Using a celebrity endorsement, like Seinfeld, doesn't automatically make you part of the in crowd. Why?
Let's assume, for example, that Microsoft is targeting the younger generation: college students.

Jerry Seinfeld is 54 years old. His hit TV show, Seinfeld, was aired between the years of 1989 and 1998. A college sophomore was about 2 years old when the show began, and 11 when it ended. This student was probably watching Barney, Sesame Street, or The Simpsons at the time, not Seinfeld. Even worse, Seinfeld wasn't even a show aimed at kids! It could be an equivalent to today's Two And A Half Men--a show who's target audience is 20-30 year olds!

By hiring Jerry Seinfeld, Microsoft simply missed their target audience! I'm their target audience, and I barely know who he is, never watched his show, and actually don't think he's very funny!



Laurie said...

HI Andrew,
I watched the ad, occasionally watched the tv show years ago (make that...on rare occasions), and once in awhile find Jerry funny. With that said, I didn't get this ad either. Rather, I found it muddled, which is what I have often thought of the way Microsoft programs their software. However, I did find Bill entertaining and think he has a role as being a straight man for a comic.
Mrs Bartels

Meredith deChabert said...

Hi Andrew,
As a real lover of Seinfeld, I think that Jerry's antics as a commercial "star" are a bit too out of context. The ad, in all of its weirdness, did get my attention, though--but I fit the demographic. I also am a PC person for now, so I'm intrigued to see their response to Mac ads. It's all just academic to me, of course.
Dr. de