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Last week, Microsoft (along with its ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky) debuted the first television commercial in its $300,000,000 quest to upend Apple in the battle of the computer behemoths. Watch the spot here:
I missed the spot when it originally aired but knew within minutes that I had missed it because my Twitter stream was immediately ablaze with fierce criticisms of the ad. Comments about the much anticipated new ad campaign included:
Don't get it. Time 4 agency review Seriously... WTF? Horrible. New Microsoft/Seinfeld commercial: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL FAIL!!! RIP Microsoft. If you shoud come across the Seinfeld/Gates/MS ad, turn away and send the kids from the room. It's a train wreck.
I have to admit, I was a bit miffed at first. There were points of almost awkward silence in the ad and it didn't really relate to Vista. It was, in essence, an AD ABOUT NOTHING (go figure). And chewy computers?
I knew there was more to it than met the eye—that they were leaving us hanging on purpose. This article confirmed it for me: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/04/microsoft-ads-first-phase-to-engage-consumers-spark-conversation/
The ad itself served as an icebreaker. It was meant to get people talking. It was meant to divert attention from the PC vs. Mac ads. It was meant to give Microsoft/Bill Gates a level of approachability Apple doesn't seem to have.
Mission accomplished—it is one of the most talked about ad campaigns in recent history. Microsoft now has a captive audience that is waiting impatiently for more. I look forward to the next ad.