The debut of the much-anticipated commercial with new Windows spokes-comedian Jerry Seinfeld has left most viewers confused.
Like Seinfeld's TV show, it appears to be about nothing. The 90-second spot follows Seinfeld and Bill Gates through a shoe-shopping experience at the mall that probably looks eerily familiar to most regular folks, aside from the cut to Seinfeld showering fully clothed in order to stretch out his new shoes. And the pair don't discuss Microsoft or computers until the final seconds, when Gates wiggles his butt to assure Seinfeld that computers will soon be not only edible, but delicious. Whatever that means.
Interestingly, the accompanying press release from Microsoft includes a great deal of information about the strategy for this ad campaign, which will "highlight how Windows has become an indispensable part of the lives of a billion people around the globe -- not only on PCs but also now online and via mobile devices."
The campaign, largely a response to Apple's Get a Mac ad series, began with an intro designed to get people talking -- which we are -- and to try to build a more welcoming and understandable relationship with consumers. Brad Brooks, corporate VP for Windows Consumer Product Marketing, says Microsoft has learned that its relationship with consumers has become insufficient and needs to be made more active, more explicit and less intimidating.
Getting started with two non-threatening middle-aged guys talking slowly about shoes and delicious baked goods seems like it might just be the kind of silly simplicity that will get through to consumers weary of fearing and hating technology products that should be enhancing their lives.