“Microsoft Corp., weary of being cast as a stodgy oldster by Apple Inc.’s advertising, is turning for help to Jerry Seinfeld,” Suzanne Vranica and Robert A. Guth report for The Wall Street Journal.
MacDailyNews Take: Is this the same Jerry Seinfeld whose eponymous television series basically chronicled the history of Apple Macs on Jerry’s apartment desk?
Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld which aired only once during the series finale of Seinfeld:
Vranica and Guth continue, “The software giant’s new $300 million advertising campaign, devised by a newly hired ad agency, has been closely guarded. But Mr. Seinfeld will be one of the key celebrity pitchmen, say people close to the situation. He will appear with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in ads and receive about $10 million for the work, they say.”
MacDailyNews Take: How about spending $300 million to create an OS that isn’t a derivative, counterintuitive, bloated, spaghetti-coded mess?
Vranica and Guth continue, “The new ad effort is expected to use some variation of the slogan ‘Windows, Not Walls,’ according to several people familiar with the matter. Those people say the point is to stress breaking down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting. The campaign, said to debut Sept. 4, is one of the largest in the company’s history.”
MacDailyNews Take: Total debacles require massive ad campaigns to sway the weak-minded, it would seem. One question: In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?
Vranica and Guth continue, “The attempted image overhaul comes as Microsoft executives privately acknowledge that Windows — the company’s most important brand — has grown stale and has been battered by Apple’s ‘Mac vs. PC’ ads.”
MacDailyNews Note: Just an FYI: They’re actually called “Get a Mac” ads, not “Mac vs. PC” ads.
Vranica and Guth continue, “Microsoft’s immediate goal is to reverse the negative public perception of Windows Vista, the latest version of the company’s personal-computer operating system.”
MacDailyNews Take: Then they’re going to need way more than $300 million. Windows. It is your father’s OS.
Vranica and Guth continue, “The software has sold well…”
MacDailyNews Take: Who, besides Microsoft, says Vista has sold well? Please see these related articles:
• State of the Art? Nearly 35% of new PCs have Vista replaced with ancient Windows XP – August 19, 2008
• Forrester: Microsoft’s ill-fated Windows Vista rejected like ‘new Coke’ by enterprises – July 31, 2008
• HP: Microsoft counting XP-loaded PCs as ‘Vista’ sales – July 30, 2008
• Survey: Windows Vista adoption weakens as IT pros eye Apple Macintosh – July 29, 2008
• Microsoft discounts Windows Vista – February 29, 2008
Vranica and Guth continue, “While Apple’s digs at Microsoft through its advertising campaign have been vexing, Apple is on a hot streak with its products that Microsoft hasn’t been able to match… During the second quarter, Apple said it sold 41% more Macs than it did during the same period the prior year; that compares with growth of 15.3% in total PC shipments world-wide, according to IDC. Apple’s desktop and notebook computers have won converts among onetime Windows loyalists.”
Vranica and Guth report, “For its new campaign, Microsoft also considered a range of other famous personalities, including comedians Will Ferrell and Chris Rock, according to people familiar with the matter.”
MacDailyNews Take: Good choices. Chris Rock is a noted user of multiple Apple iPods and Will Ferrell…
Full article here.
Read also: “Microsoft Ad Team: We’ll Sell Vista, But We’re Using Macs,” by Peter Kafka, Silicon Alley Insider, August 21, 2008
Also of interest: “Seinfeld. A classic gets desperate. Groundbreaking sitcom has fallen so far off the cultural radar that it’s luring viewers on a bus,” by Joel Rubinoff, The Toronto Stars, August 21, 2008