No More Seinfeld, But Microsoft Ad Blitz Continues

Dennis Faas's picture

For those of you who hated the Seinfeld Microsoft adverts -- and your responses tell us there are quite a few of you -- there's good news. The tales of Jerry and Bill are done for now, replaced by a relatively direct response to Apple's long-standing campaign, "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC."

According to Microsoft, this was the plan all along: a spokesman says the two Gates and Seinfeld ads were simply a teaser and the firm hasn't cut the series short. That makes the ads -- short on either plot or message -- even more baffling, as well as making Seinfeld's $10 million payoff seem even more generous. (Source:

The new TV campaign is a direct takeoff on Apple's "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" series. Each commercial will begin with Microsoft employee Sean Siler (a lookalike of the geeky PC character from the Apple ads) exclaiming "I'm a PC and I've been made into a stereotype". The ads then feature celebrities and other people living exciting lives -- including a shark diver -- proudly proclaiming "I'm a PC."

Microsoft is backing up the campaign with some creative techniques. Anyone emailing the '' address shown in the adverts gets an automated reply from Siler explaining that he's a real Microsoft employee and sharing his love of Vista. Meanwhile, the firm is asking viewers to send in clips and pictures of their own take on the "I'm a PC" theme, with the best to be used in online adverts and broadcast in Times Square. (Source:

At the same time, Microsoft is producing some more traditional print adverts based on the much-rumored 'Windows not Walls' theme.

Critics who complained the adverts didn't include enough specific detail promoting Microsoft's products probably still won't be happy. But this new phase of the campaign should be better received than the Seinfeld ads. It manages to acknowledge the Apple ads and play off them, but doesn't directly attack, or even mention, the rival product. That's probably a smart idea as Microsoft can concentrate on Windows' strengths without drawing as much attention to its weaknesses.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet