Friday, September 19, 2008
I told a bunch of people that the first commercial was easily the most genuinely funny commercial I've seen in years. And, of course, Microsoft is now canceling it. And replacing it with a cheap knock-off of a Mac ad.
After two "episodes," the Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercials for Microsoft have been halted. Attempting to put a positive spin on the cancellation, Microsoft said that it had only intended to air the two spots, and that they were part of a larger ad campaign. "All along we said we were having a teaser campaign," Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said. "We're getting ready to start the second phase. This was the plan all along." Some critics were skeptical, especially given earlier reports that Seinfeld was being paid $10 million to appear in the spots. Writing on the tech website ZDNet, business technology columnist Adrian Kingsley-Hughes commented, "So the whole idea was to come out with two ads that featured Gates and Seinfeld, ads that were enthusiastically hated by most and then move on to phase 2? I doubt it. I can't say that these ads weren't funny, but rather than being 'ha ha funny,' they were more 'What's that funny smell?' funny." Beginning tonight (Thursday), Microsoft will roll out a new campaign with the theme "Windows. Life without walls" that reportedly will spoof the successful "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" ads by Apple.