Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Microsoft Launches New Ad Campaign

On September 4th, Microsoft launched a new ad campaign starring none other than Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The advertisement is what seems to be part of a larger PR effort to change the face of Microsoft as we know it. In recent years the PC has increasingly lost popularity as Macs are the new computer of choice and have dominated the advertising world.



The commercial utilizes that classic Seinfeld humor, which can almost be read as having nothing to do with anything. It takes place in a Shoe Circus store as Seinfeld helps Bill Gates find shoes and later hints at the idea of Microsoft changing and developing something new and exciting. This seems to be an effort to change people's perceptions of Microsoft with a hip new commercial that applies dry humor as well as a promise for improvements.

This could also be in response to the far from warm response to the recently launched, Windows Vista, which did not have quite the success expected. This commercial would be then offering a promise of new innovations to those who were unhappy with Windows Vista.

My question is whether this ad is an attempt to make Microsoft hip like Mac and popular with young people because of the humorous commercial, or whether it is changing its target to an older group. As a PC owner myself, in an environment in which most of my friends my age own Macs, I felt that it was refreshing to see a PC advertisement, but I'm not too sure what it is getting at. Maybe its randomness is what made it so memorable...

4 comments:

christine said...

When I first saw this commercial, I would not have had any idea that it was for Microsoft if it hadn't of been for Bill Gates. Personally, I'm not a Seinfeld fan and don't really find him funny. I don't think Jerry/Bill have anything on the Apple Mac/PC Guy commercials. I do think the target audience for this campaign are the mid 30's to 50's PC users. They are not making much of an effort to compete with Mac for the younger audiences, at least not with this campaign. As a newly converted PC to Mac user, I have to say I think this commercial fails.

Russell said...

I'm not sure I would go as far as to say that macs are the "new computer of choice." Although they are increasing in popularity, Microsoft as of 2003, held over 97% of the pc market share on the planet. I agree that Mac has increased its market share but i doubt that in the last 5 years microsoft has lost much of its dominance.
Also I think that the commercial is a type of analagy where "Shoe Circus" is in a way microsoft. At the beginning of the commercial Jerry says, "Quality shoes at discount prices, why pay more?" I think they're trying to subliminally show people that PC's are still quality machines that cost much less than Mac, so why would you buy a Mac?

Jessica Mo said...

I have seen that commercial and it actually kind of annoys me for how vague it is about anything. I like ads that try and persuade me why this is a good product I don't like ads that don't really give me a reason to want the product.

davalos said...

This is a crazy ad. I'm still trying to make sense of it. With the 2nd ad out, it makes you wonder what else they've got under their sleeves??? I hope it's nothing to crazy. No more circus shoes, or random robot dancing!