Friday, September 5, 2008

Microsoft Seinfeld Ad: Where's the Branding.

Today brings the relase of the much hyped Microsoft ad with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates ... and it's terrible. First of all, it's not funny. It's embarrassing. Who came up with the idea of Bill Gates adjusting his shorts? And Seinfeld went along with that? Isn't he supposed to know comedy? Can we say sellout?

Secondly, and more notably, there's no branding. If you watch one of the ads from the competing Apple comercials, they are hipper and wittier, but they are also spot-on brand message.

Take this one for example. The "Mac" is dressed in jeans vs. the "PC" in a suit. That says macs are casual, not stuffy and strictly for the corporate world; it says students use them, artists use them, casual offices use them. The "Mac" is a little bit younger and a little bit more stylish. And then there's the more blatant message of Macs not needing to be restarted as frequently as PCs. It's a clever ad, and it's on brand.

I'm not sure what Microsoft was even going for in their ad. It seems like they just blindly stumbled into the realm of humor to soften the edges of the way consumers perceive them. But it doesn't work for me.

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