The first of Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s ads for Windows Vista, starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, has aired, and the result manages to charm without packing much punch. The biggest thing missing: any hint of a reason the viewer should, oh say, try the OS.
In the ad, Seinfeld catches Gates shopping in a discount shoe outlet. The dialog is surreal in true Crispin fashion: Seinfeld asks Microsoft’s outgoing chairman if computers will ever be “moist and chewy like cake.” To this Gates replies with a secret, hands-free adjustment of his boxer shorts.
You may recognize this version of Seinfeld from American Express ads from 2004
in which he plays opposite the man of steel. They pal around together in a restaurant, visiting the Grand Canyon, watching movies. Once again, here we have Everyman Seinfeld mucking it up with a legendary hero.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that (to steal a line). The comic’s aimless banter is legendary; it’s why he pulls the big bucks (Seinfeld’s reported take here is $10 million).
But is aimless banter enough to stem the tide of consumers to Apple products, or to head off the looming threat of Google’s hosted applications? It’s too early to draw big conclusions, given the new spot is just an icebreaker to “reintroduce Microsoft,” the company said. But, well, Jerry’s only work since 2005 was the unloved Bee Movie. With respect, shouldn’t Microsoft try something, or someone, with a bit more sting?
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