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Microsoft Enlists Jerry Seinfeld in Ad War Against Apple

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August 21, 2008 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: AAPL , MSFT

(I'm actually looking forward to seeing these ads.)

Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Corp., weary of being cast as a stodgy oldster by Apple Inc.'s advertising, is turning for help to Jerry Seinfeld.

The software giant's new $300 million advertising campaign, devised by a newly hired ad agency, has been closely guarded. But Mr. Seinfeld will be one of the key celebrity pitchmen, say people close to the situation. He will appear with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in ads and receive about $10 million for the work, they say.

The new ad effort is expected to use some variation of the slogan "Windows, Not Walls," according to several people familiar with the matter. Those people say the point is to stress breaking down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting. The campaign, said to debut Sept. 4, is one of the largest in the company's history.

The attempted image overhaul comes as Microsoft executives privately acknowledge that Windows — the company's most important brand — has grown stale and has been battered by Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads. Those ads, created by Omnicom Group Inc.'s TBWA/Chiat/Day, feature a nerdy PC guy getting upstaged by a hip Mac counterpart.

Microsoft's immediate goal is to reverse the negative public perception of Windows Vista, the latest version of the company's personal-computer operating system. Windows is Microsoft's largest generator of profit and revenue, accounting for 28% of the company's revenue of $60.4 billion in the year ended June 30.

The software has sold well, and Microsoft retains an overwhelming share of the market for operating system software over Apple. But Apple's computer sales have been rising, and Vista is dogged by the notion that it has technical shortcomings and is hard to use. Apple's latest Mac vs. PC ads take swipes at Vista. Microsoft says early problems with Vista have been largely alleviated.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 21, 2008 at 1:02 PM, thepull (99.42) wrote:

Jeff Seinfeld is the way to the hip younger crowd?

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#2) On August 21, 2008 at 1:42 PM, QualityPicks (67.01) wrote:

I haven't seen the ads. They should be interesting, at least to use Jerry Seinfeld seems like a good idea to me.

But I know Microsoft, and I know tech geeks. And I know Bill Gates and I know Steve Jobs. Bill wants to be cool, while Steve is. Bill has been appearing with celebrities in the last few years to try to appear cool. But that hasn't worked and I doubt it will work in this case. If Bill appears in the commercials, I can almost guarantee the Ads will not be very effective. He'll manage to make whatever Seinfeld does not funny :) Not only that, but I'm thinking Microsoft geeks will tell the cool and funny Seinfeld how the ad should go and what to say, making it not funny :)

But I'll watch, should be interesting. I wonder if they'll make me change my mind.

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#3) On August 21, 2008 at 2:17 PM, LordZ wrote:

Better products not better ads

that or less expensive products.

I don't need no fancy ad to tell me that vista is cool, especially when their old operating system takes up way less resources and works better albeit it still has issues and still crashes.

microsoft needs to worry more about microsoft  and making themselves better and less about mac ads.

 

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#4) On August 25, 2008 at 10:11 PM, DeerHunter73 (73.00) wrote:

Iagree i dont need an ad to tell me something about microsift. Jerry isnt in the least funny never was.That just goes to show they have money to piss away. Just to prove how much i hate vista , I invested in 4 new laptops from dell all with xp before they discontinued xp. I will never goto vista. Every program they come out will work with xp in the next 5 years or so. I made sure all of them were upgradeable from every aspect to harddrives memory processors etc. Vista is the biggest POS program ever designed. Its got more flaws and problems then windows ME or 2000 ever had put together. RIP Microsofts vista!!

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#5) On August 25, 2008 at 10:11 PM, DeerHunter73 (73.00) wrote:

Iagree i dont need an ad to tell me something about microsift. Jerry isnt in the least funny never was.That just goes to show they have money to piss away. Just to prove how much i hate vista , I invested in 4 new laptops from dell all with xp before they discontinued xp. I will never goto vista. Every program they come out will work with xp in the next 5 years or so. I made sure all of them were upgradeable from every aspect to harddrives memory processors etc. Vista is the biggest POS program ever designed. Its got more flaws and problems then windows ME or 2000 ever had put together. RIP Microsofts vista!!

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