Thursday, September 18, 2008
Microsoft Shelves Pricey Ad Campaign
Blessedly, Microsoft has put the kibosh on those awkward, unfunny Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads.
In true Microsoft fashion, the campaign smacked of throwing big money at a problem. "Jerry Seinfeld was cool 15 years ago! Let's see if he's available! And we'll pair him up with Bill Gates for some observational humor!"
The final result? A series of spots featuring two extremely wealthy men, idly resting on their laurels. Not cool.
Let's not forget that the computer seen on the set of "Seinfeld" was always a Mac.
Meanwhile, the Apple campaign (which could have been produced for, say, $20,000) rolls on. These spots reinforce Steve Jobs' legendary aesthetic (a Nordic, white-on-white austerity), while clearly positioning Apple as the computer/cell phone/mp3 player of choice among the hipster set.
While Bill Gates' place in the history of information technology is undeniable, I've always considered him more opportunist than innovator. His empire, built on stand-alone software packages that run on operating systems pioneered by others (like Apple), is in peril. Conversely, Steve Jobs continues developing consumer products that revolutionize the industry, along with ad campaigns that seem fresh and relevant to their target audience.
While I'm loathe to gush about a corporation, any corporation, can anyone deny that Apple is the most innovative, most relevant, most American corporation in the world today?