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back to article World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

Microsoft has debuted the first commercial starring its $10m Vista pitchman, Jerry Seinfeld. The ad shows the funnyman spotting Bill Gates shopping at a discount shoe store, whereupon churros, foot sizes, wearing clothes in the shower, and chewy computers are discussed – anything but Windows Vista, it seems. Reactions to …

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Wow

Unfunny piled on top of unfunny. This sucks as much as Vista

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"Mojave Experiment" website doesn't work

Asked me to install a thing called "Silverlight" Well, as a well trained internet surfer I never install anything that's unsolicited and clicked to view the "Non Silverlight" website (I guess that means a "normal" website as opposed to a "Silverlight site"). Sat watching spinning wheels for a minute and gave up.

Nicely sums up Vista. Sit around watching not a lot happening, see things being done for no good reason other than technical, as opposed to functional, zeal. Welcome to modernity.

Personally I can't see the point of the advert. It's neither funny nor ironic. I actually found it quite boring. Compare that with the pithy "Get a Mac" ads which are entertaining enough to watch out of choice.

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Will be interesting

I think what people may be missing is that this is the first in a series. It has set the scene - Bill and Jerry are now mates. Whilst the series is unlikely to have the drama of a well known series of adverts for coffee, it is playing the same long game.

Having never been a fan of either Bill or Jerry, it leaves me a little cold. However by recruiting Jerry to the job and producing a series of ads, that no doubt will build upon themselves, MS have pulled off a coup that suddenly leaves the Apple ads looking very cheap. One of the world's richest men, one of America's most recognised comedians, in a setting, and use of humour, that places them alongside ordinary folk. That, versus tweedeldummy and smart arse nerd of the Apple ads. I suspect Apple will be pulling them soon.

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I saw that ad, and thought of this...

From Futurama:

-------------------

Leela: That was [a] terrible [advertisement], people won't even know what we do.

Bender: *I* don't even know what we do. Nah, just kidding, heh...

...what are we like, a bus or something?

Leela: Did you approve that awful ad, Fry?

Fry: Yes I did, Leels, and I'll tell you why: because it grows the brand.

Leela: Oh Lord!

-------------------

I really can't put it any better myself, so here's a link to the above in MP3 format:

http://www.futurama-madhouse.com.ar/sounds/3acv21/321-04.mp3

Simply because you have to get the various tones of voice to describe the situation properly.

Sienfeld probably saw the paycheck on offer and just went with it for that alone. It grows his brand...

Steven R

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Gates Halo

Clever

A clever piece of Advertising. I look forward to the follow ons.

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Huh

I absolutely despise Jerry Seinfeld. I'd do him physical harm if I ever saw him in the shoe store.

However, I did like that commercial. I actually laughed out loud several times. I hope there are more of them coming. They need something other than those really, really weird 'Forefront' ads - you know the ones that talk about killing green leafy monsters; and make absolutely know sense at all? This was much better.

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Gates Horns

It's creepy and meaningless

I find it nauseating is David Lynch somehow involved in this.

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Not half bad

Speaking as a Mac using, iPod loving and iPhone toting fanboi, I think this advert has set a pleasant and human touch for Microsoft. It has a gentle humour and a friendliness which may not resonate with the self-esteeming, high-brow, chattering class of geeks, but I believe it has something that many geeks simply cannot grasp (warmth, happiness, friendliness, quiet satisfaction, joy at the little things in life), hence why geeks think the ads suck (they want specs, performance graphs, 3D graphics and put-downs (because everybody knows that a good put-down is funny)).

Don't get me wrong, I think that Microsoft hasn't got the criminal record it deserves, but this advert isn't half bad and I think it could work for the evil empire.

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Gates Horns

Better ideas?

I can't help think that their money could have been better spent.

For example, think about how many kittens you could hire (more meaow for your molah) for $10million.

A sea of kittens!

Or maybe $10million worth of custard pies being thrown at Sir Bill by disgruntled vista users.

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It's a commercial about nothing

And that's a quote.

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Side-effects may include nausea, sleeplessness, and General Protection Fault

This reminds me of the ads we see in the US for prescription medications that deal with *ahem* personal issues - the ones that say "ask your doctor if Hypochondrixol is right for you" without ever saying what the drug is actually supposed to _do_ for you. That's because it legally allows the manufacturers to not mention the nasty side-effects, either.

It seems like the same advertising model. If M$ instead made an ad (like Mojave, maybe - I haven't seen that) describing what Vista actually does (the purported benefits over other OSs, including their own XP), then they would somehow get forced into defending themselves publicly when someone points out the very obvious defects in the product. They avoid the direct criticism by not saying anything specific enough to criticize.

@Francis- I'm not a Mac fan either, but I don't see this cheapening the Mac ads by comparison. The Mac ads are short, smart, and always _funny_. I generally watch each new one once (but only once) as it comes out instead of TiVoing past it. This indicates to me that Apple has found a good ad model for the DVR age, in that it gets attention from eyes that would otherwise be averted. Jerry's ads might accomplish the same for M$, but will they actually convince anyone that Vista is worth using? (Not me - I mean someone who isn't already a devoted penguin-head.)

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Meh

It's seinfeld (never been very funny imho) and gates (insert string of derogatory comments here). I was good for a minor chuckle in a couple of places. However unless this spot and it's successors see prime airtime then M$ has once again been behind another pointless venture where it spent a ton of cash for no apparent reason. The Apple ads are still far more humorous and memorable than this is.

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Anonymous Coward

I was asked...

by a lady earlier this week, if its normal for a laptop to take 40 minutes from hitting the power button to being usable. She only uses her dual core superduper 1000 pound laptop once a week, to pick up email and do her household accounts and it takes 40 minutes to boot. It is busy installing and rebooting before it lets her use it. I hadn't used my Vista laptop in a week and a half so I timed it thinking it would show that her laptop was faulty. She was right. Just over 40 minutes of system updates, including three reboots that I wasn't asked for. Try explaining that "Mojave" does that and see if people still like it.

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Paris Hilton

What?

My reaction: What? Eh?

I sincerely hope this is the first in a series of adverts that builds the brand. It made no sense to me. Less than no sense. Shoes? Churros? What is it advertising? I reeeeeeally don't understand.

This MUST be the start of some very clever series, that peaks in an unmissable demonstration of how utterly brilliant Vista is.

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Jerry Seinfeld??

Am I the only one who sees some irony here? Go back and take a look at ALL of the episodes of the Seinfeld show. Back in the corner of Jerry's apartment is (wait for this!) a Mac! You can pretty much tell when the episode was made by the model. Early shows had an SE or an SE/30 (you really can't tell), and they it went more upscale from there. I remember a powerbook in a base among others. To me it goes without saying that the producers (Seinfeld was one of them!) approved of this product placement and even made money from it.

Remember: He didn't switch when W95 came out, or any later version. This reinforces the notion he IS a paid shill!

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wrong store?

They seem to be advertising for either the shoe store, or the shoe. But it sure as hell doesn't say anything about Microsoft or Vista. Of course, by not mentioning it in the commercial, they've guaranteed that people DO mention it in discussions, so there may be method to their apparent madness.

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Anonymous Coward

can't wait

So, this is the ad that improves microsoft's image, by proving that they haven't got a clue how to spend their ad dollars, and got sold not just one aimless ad, but a whole series? Let's see, make fun of the guy who's supposed to be smarter than the rest of us, don't say anything about computers or software. What image are they trying to stick in our minds?

Aren't there supposed to be *three* stooges?

Posted anonymously, because I have to make a living in Redmond WA.

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It had better be leading somewhere...

... because my main reaction to the advert was to seriously consider writing a will or something; the sight of these two 50-something year old men (particularly Jerry, who doesn't seem accustomed to dressing his new, slightly larger self) has made me really appreciate how quickly you get old.

Especially given the relatively unfunny material from Jerry versus his 90s stuff, are Microsoft trying to associate themselves with the idea of being past their prime but not really willing to admit it?

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Non elitist

Yes, as per the comment Francis made. This is the first in a series of ads to show that Windows is what you should use if you want to relate with other ordinary computer using people rather than smug and superior geeks that scare you. I would not be assuming that Bill is on a dud just yet...

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Stop

The Woah! starts now

I can't believe some people are waiting for Windows 7 because they think it is going to be better than Windows Vista.

In reality, it may as well be what Windows Mohave is to Windows Vista, as it will be based on the same kernel.

Windows Vista is New Coke.

The ad reminded me of Homer's new and improved Mr. Plow advertisement:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mr_plow_ad.JPG

Lisa: Was that your advert?

Homer: I don't know...

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Anonymous Coward

Bottom Wigglers

that will make a good nickname for the Window's mob.

Whoever authored that ad, not only just threw imagination out of the window, they did quite a good job to further reinforce that negative advertising does exist :)

Still the numpties will still buy windows, a few may possibly try and eat the cd it comes on now.

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Joke

Shoe store?

I think that this was a very unusual shoe store ad, I have never heard of shoe circus, Of course I tend to buy quality shoes like Clarks or similar quality. Not really familiar with the two celebrities although I know that one of them is on television. Then when they left the store... Saturn rings? Soft and chewy?, I thought that onion rings were supposed to be crisp on the outside. Microsoft? is that a new kind of tiny onion ring sold in this cheap priced shoe store with tight shoes?

What do computers have that come into all of this... after 12 years of using Linux I had almost forgotten that there once was cheap software produced by this Microsoft company. Perhaps they have decided to try and sell soft and chewy onion rings out of a shoe store now... I wish them luck, don't think I would have an interest in that though :)

Oh I tried the link... funny thing, all of my flash works fine all over the web... but this is the first time I have seen a lockup advising me to get something called silverlight? Whats that?

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Anonymous Coward

When do I laugh?

An innocuous ad but unfunny nevertheless.

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Happy

there was 1 amusing joke ---

The photo on Gates shoe-membership card is his mugshot from his arrest in 1977. k, I got a LOL out of that.

(( see 4 yrself @ http://www.mugshots.org/misc/bill-gates.html ))

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Syd
Joke

@Glenn Gilbert

I think you need to upgrade your OS to Vista ;)

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Paris Hilton

The wind blowing through the hole in the back

"Backward compatibility is important," [Ben] Green says. Windows 7 will have the same security model as Vista to minimize disruption.

- Paris shivers as she knows such winds

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Ian
Jobs Halo

Adverts aren't revenue

``Whilst the series is unlikely to have the drama of a well known series of adverts for coffee''

Which got canned because they weren't, in fact, selling coffee (Nescafe, as it happens: that you used the generic name shows why they failed). For those of us d'un certain age, Cinzano adverts with Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins. http://www.leonardrossiter.com/Cinzano.html --- Alan Parker may think they're great, but they didn't actually shift much in the way of Cinzao.

There comes a point where spending the ad budget on meeting your heroes becomes an end in itself. As Microsoft have just shown.

Steve. Because he's not spending the ad budget meeting Larry Sanders.

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Go

This may be the caffeine making me over-analyse, but...

I think the ad makes a strange amount of sense; Bill Gates was popular as the geek done good, the guy with bad glasses and no dress sense who changed computing (whether that's true or not, that was the perception).

He became less popular when everyone had been using Windows and Office for so long that they forgot the improvement on what came before (once again, down to perception, maybe MS weren't so innovative, but that's irrelevant if MS is where you saw it first).

I think what they're trying to do is make people thing of him as anything other than the heard of a large faceless corporation, who everyone moans about, and he's so associated with Microsoft, even in his new slimmed-down role, they start to look better a result.

Although, @Matthew White, a sea of kittens? that'd be awesome. You could sell me anthrax with that.

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Anonymous Coward

@Better ideas?

> Or maybe $10million worth of custard pies being thrown at Sir Bill by disgruntled vista users.

Great! I'd buy a Vista licence just to see that. They couldn't make me use it, could they?

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Utter pants

WTF??

The most nonsensical piece of unfunny crap I think I've ever seen.

I have no idea what just happened.

And why put Gates in it??? Surely putting the living, breathing stereotype of everything that's wrong with computing is the last thing they should be doing.

MS are running around in circles without a clue how to get out the mire they've got themselves in. Pants ads like this aren't gonna help.

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Go

The Spinner and the Programmer

The BSOD was showing on the screen,

Showing with all his might:

He did his very best to make

The Core Dump less a fright --

And this was odd, because it was

The O/S who took to flight.

"If seven spinners with seven meg$

Spun us for half a year.

Do you suppose," the spinner said,

"They could transform Vista dear?"

"I doubt it," said the programmer,

And shed a bitter tear.

"The time has come," the spinner said,

"To spin on many things:

Of speed -- and glut -- and resource hogs --

Of Tuesday Patchy Things --

And why the O/S stinks so bad --

And whether IP Pings.

"I weep for you," the Spinner said:

"I deeply sympathize."

With blogs and spots designed to keep

Customers of largest size.

Offering schtick on nothingness

Before their bleary eyes.

"O users," said the spinner,

"You've had a pleasant run!

Shall we upgrade you one more time?"

But answers came there none --

And this was scarcely odd, because

The O/S wouldn't run.

[with apologies to Lewis Carroll]

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Stop

Jerry's Cruise

OK, can I run this past you folks ... just to check we're singing from the same hymn-sheet here, y'understand.

Jerry is walking in the Mall, and spots Bill trying to buy shoes from a discount store. He pops in to help and massages Bill's ego while kneeling before him, suggesting he buys Conquistador (heh!) footwear and calling him a ten. Jerry tries to flirt, talking about Bill taking a shower with his clothes on.

Bill doesn't get it, but anyway they leave the Mall together, with Jerry talking about how computers should give oral satisfaction by being all moist and chewy. He begs Bill to give some sort of sign that he understands the innuendo, to which Bill responds by wiggling his arse.

At which point Jerry exhults "I knew it!". Delicious indeed.

Joke's on Bill, it seems.

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aL
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reg may know tech (sort of)

you you dont know marketing.. .:) ads have NOTHING to do with the products. its all about image. they dont have any anchorage in reality. its all about conveying an "feeling" about the company name first and a product name second.

one thing microsoft knows how to do is bounce back when sufficently challanged.. i think there are more commecials comming that are really aimed at joe-sicks-pack-regular-non-techie-user. and for that demographic, this commecial is exelent.

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Coat

Maybe would of been better

with a 80's retro look, with bill and jerry off to the desert to dig up all the Atari ET games to make room to bury vista

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Gates Horns

It reminds me...

...of those OS/2 WARP commercials running in mid 90'ties. One could not see what it was about those "Solutions for a small planet".

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That was...

..completely boring and stupid. Though I do wish a bunch of the Linux supporting companies could get together and promote something for Linux, just so the name is heard. =P

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Paris Hilton

Why?

Why on earth would Seinfeld pick Bill to promote his next show? It doesn't make sense.

I would have picked Paris, if only for the view while helping her try shoes on.

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vaporware is being sold

Since when did selling vaporware work?

Maybe when consumers do not like the current products you have little choice. Besides you do not have to sell anything if consumers are forced to buy it anyway.

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World goes mad as Bill and Jerry eat churros

I thought it was an article about Tom and Jerry Ice cream and wondered what it had to do with M$.

So churros are shoes not crisps/Mexican snacks or ice creams?

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Gates Halo

To whom are they selling?

As far as I'm aware, most Windows users are those whose PCs came with it preinstalled, those who have to use it at their office or school, and gamers who have no other choice. Mac has their clever "I'm a PC" ad campaign because they're trying to push kit on end users, particularly to get the new-laptop-for-college-freshman sale. But will Seinfeld really help Microsoft reach PC manufacturers and sysadmins?

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Well I just don't know.

I pray that no-one in a position of serious technical power and responsibility decides what OS to buy by watching a TV advert.

Who is it aimed at? Presumably the users who converted to Mac because they thought it was cool. Why would hardcore Mac OSX or Linux users change? They know they've got a better OS already.

90% of Windows home users have Windows because that is what the salesman pushed when they went into PC World. This advert doesn't address them.

Is it just all a warm and fuzzy feeling generator? Does anyone with a brain get warm and fuzzy about software?

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Thefirst step

Microsoft is opening a dialogue with consumers - trying to start a relationship, and this ad marks the first step. It's a long road, and the consumer PC may barely exist by the time they reach their goal.

What Apple has done, and it takes decades, is to earn the trust of its customers, so they will step into the unknown with Apple. And Apple's consumer customers will be the first to leave the personal computer behind.

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unimpressed...

I liked the use of his arrest photo for the membership card though.

http://italy.indymedia.org/uploads/2002/03/bill-gates.jpg

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Stop

Mojave does better than Seinfeld does

Apple gets away with lies, damned lies and statistics in their Mac vs PC ads because the majority of viewers aren't holding them accountable for it. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury; everyone holds them accountable for everything even if it isn't their creation.

As for Mojave, no really, Vista isn't the evil creation that you all make it out to be. I go into further detail on antiwindowscatalog.com. Mojave attacks that perception head-on. Seinfeld doesn't do anything useful.

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The club card

Interesting that the club card uses the old police DUI photo from when Bill was young and impulsive.

To borrow a little from recent political events: Vista is still a pig with lipstick in my opinion.

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The unspeakable in full pursuit...

It's perfect: the unfunny "comedian" advertising the non-functional "operating system".

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@Mathew White

I think you've nailed it! No matter the problem, if you just throw kittens at it, it'll go away.

It's a far better, and fuzzier, solution that just throwing money at a problem.

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Paris Hilton

Pieing Gates

Wouldn't be the first time Gates got a kisser full of custard...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhe0H8RDNcc

(hope that's the right link)

Though probably worth noting most of the people taking part in the experiment -

A) Most likely don't do much more than poke around the internet, possibly using a little light word processing and some e-mail.

B) Again most likely wouldn't know a crash if you bent them over their desk and inserted it.

Paris because -

She has been bent over many times, probably over many pieces of furniture.

Like anyone dealing with Microsoft she knows how a good shafting feels.

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Product v. Brand?

The Apple ads say, "Look you've put up with crap for years, why not try this Apple product instead." and adds a joke.

The Microsoft ad says, "Bill Gates buys crap shoes and allows himself to be picked up by a comic with a declining reputation." There isn't a joke.

I don't think Apple will be panicking just yet.

There is an old marketing joke, "If you have a good product, show the product, if you have a good brand, show the brand, if you have neither, show a picture of the boss!"

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it's charming, but Microsoft isnt

I agree with those who think it's human, charming and gently funny. The problem is that Microsoft is none of these things. The point about brand advertising is that you can only change people's perceptions if you present them with an underlying truth about your brand. Apple's portrayal of MS seems closer to the reality than Jerry's...

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