24 September, 2008

So Good You Didn't Even Know It Worked: Gates-Seinfeld Ad Post-Mortem

We canceled our subscription to Cinemax, so I spent a good part of last night thinking about the Bill and Jerry ads for Microsoft.

On the surface, the spots don't look like much, you know? Some shrugged them off as being derivative and pointless. Others simply cocked their heads like dogs watching C-Span. The general response was underwhelming, adding wind to the storm of rumors about why they were taken off the air after a two-week run.

The truth is, it doesn't really matter whether John Q. HardDrive liked them. It wasn't about cajoling people into buying a PC. Not yet.

The spots had one simple purpose: make Bill Gates seem human.

Easier said than done considering he's worth more than the GDP of Panama, Jordan, and North Korea combined. But in a flurry of multi-billionaire ass-wiggling, cheap shoe-horning, and non sequitor bantering, Crispin Porter + Bogusky managed to convince some of the unwashed masses that Bill Gates lives the same kind of mundane, WalMart, paper or plastic life as the rest of us. Now whether it assured consumers that he was a lovable schlub or simply portrayed him as a socially awkward uber-nerd, that's up for debate. Either way, it took people's minds off the fact that he's helmed an empire that's characterized as a ruthless behemoth, a modern day monopolistic love child of railroad robber barons and telco strong-armers.

The Bill and Jerry spots were foreplay for the "I'm a PC" ads that followed, a coy under-the-bra grope at breaking negative perceptions of Microsoft. What better way to start than at the top?

Now, it's going to be all about kumbaya good vibes and digital high fives as Microsoft sets about liberating the pigeonholed PC user from the smarmy tyranny of Apple's "Mac vs. PC" campaign. And they're doing it on Apple's turf, taking ownership of their catchphrase. Using it against them to paint them as the elitist, myopic a-holes.

So fight the power, PC brothers and sisters. Perhaps the era of rampant Bill Gates-hatin' and PC user stereotypes has finally been Control-Alt-Deleted.

So Good You Didn't Even Know It Worked: Gates-Seinfeld Ad Post-MortemSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
blog comments powered by Disqus
The Renegade Agency Confessional - Blogged

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP