Microsoft SVP Clarifies Goals of Off-Putting Seinfeld Campaign
Excerpt from Veghte's letter:
Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows - a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series [...] aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows.
This first set of ads features Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Think of these ads as an icebreaker to reintroduce Microsoft to viewers in a consumer context.
The ad has definitely broken some kinda ice. Reviews on Adrants have been entirely negative, even angry.
It's not like we didn't see this coming. Like a pubescent boy discovering pomade, Microsoft's been trying to perfect its trendy offbeat vibe for awhile. See previous efforts, like Clearification, The Institute of Advanced Personhood (I mean, COME ON), Easy Easier, and Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?, a book modeled after creepy kid fare like Once Upon a Potty.
And it picked Crispin, for Chrissakes. You know, the agency led the frat boy who still needs people to know about his nine inches. What else has to be said? If Microsoft wanted to play the irony card without pissing people off at outset, it would've tapped Wieden+Kennedy.
Looking forward to see how the Seinfeld campaign develops and whether Microsoft can dig itself out of this well of ire. Stick with something long enough, and people start coming around. The trick is being brave enough to commit, and continuing to develop the campaign naturally without letting blogosphere freak-outs force your hand.
Thanks to Adam Kmiec for sending over the TechCrunch link.