Microsoft to drop $300 mln in cool quest

August 21, 2008

seinfeld-bee.jpgTired of being the punch line in Apple’s wildly successful “Get a Mac” ad campaign, Microsoft has pulled out the big guns and turned to … comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The software giant is planning on spending about $300 million to clean up its image, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pop quiz: What has Jerry done since “Seinfeld” went off the air some ten years ago? (Does “Bee Movie” count if he never actually shows his face?)

Consider, even the nerdy PC guy in Apple’s ads — author and humorist John Hodgman, whom Wired deemed cool enough to grace its cover last year– has kept busy lately. In between writing books and stories for The Paris Review, Wired and the New York Times, he’s found time to pop up on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and host lectures in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which at one time or another suffered the reputation as hipster central.

Hodgman is expected to show up in Ricky Gervais’s upcoming film “This Side of Truth” next year. 

If the nerd in Apple’s ads has already notched up the cool meter ahead of Seinfeld, perhaps Bill Gates should just show up alone in the ads. Would be a lot cheaper too.

What’s worse? Alleyinsider’s Peter Kafka digs up a 2007 Fast Company profile of Microsoft’s ad shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky… and discovers the firm uses Macs.

Keep an eye on:

  • Go to college. Get an iPod. (NYT)
  • IAC’s five-way split is done. Now seeking deals. (paidContent)
  • Tech startup Hillcrest Labs sues Nintendo over motion-sensing technology. (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

4 comments

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Jerry who? Oh yeah, that guy. Sure, get a guy who was popular back at the end of the previous millennium to try to sell your oh-so-advanced operating system.

Posted by Whippy | Report as abusive

Strue, guy before my comment here, Most of MS’s or Gate’s demograph will be vague on Seinfeld, I know who he is well, but am vague as to why MS should select him. My understanding of Seinfeld, is that he didn’t have a computer in his home/apt on the show. How do I get to identify him with Pro-PC? The actors in the Ads are no where near as important as what is presented as FACT in them. If your trying to sell a computer, you can joke, but the truth better be there. It is due to the crummy quality of MS products that Anti-Virus companies are gazillionaires. How are you gonna “laugh” that off, Gates?

Posted by Reidh | Report as abusive

Once again, Microsoft is copying Apple. First the graphical user interface. Then copying so many of Apple’s OS features. Then, most all of Microsoft’s partners trying to stylize their boxes in response to Apple’s designs. Next, the Zune, a total iPod ripoff. Now Microsoft is even copying Apple’s advertising methods. Oh, it will be funny, alright. Come to think of it, how about putting that $300 million ad budget into system improvements instead?

Posted by Robert Bowers | Report as abusive

There’s an obvious comedian Microsoft should have used … http://notnews.today.com/2008/08/21/30/

Posted by David Gerard | Report as abusive