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Microsoft To Announce Jerry Seinfeld Ads Cancelled 587

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-it-to-bed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Valleywag says the Jerry Seinfeld ads are over — In a phone call, Frank Shaw confirms that Microsoft is not going on with Seinfeld, and echoes his underlings' spin that the move was planned. There is the 'potential to do other things' with Seinfeld, which Shaw says is still 'possible.' He adds: 'People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected.'"
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Microsoft To Announce Jerry Seinfeld Ads Cancelled

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    • by KGIII (973947) * on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:06AM (#25051955) Journal

      One can only hope we've gotten smarter, we Americans, since the Seinfeld era... Some of his shows were good and his standup was brilliant but really the majority of shows seemed to be the most retarded things on television at the time. It was sort of like how I've never seen a single episode of Friends and yet, while the show was running, I knew everything that was going on because of the commercials.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Twyst3d (1359973)

        One can only hope we've gotten smarter, we Americans, since the Seinfeld era... Some of his shows were good and his standup was brilliant but really the majority of shows seemed to be the most retarded things on television at the time. It was sort of like how I've never seen a single episode of Friends and yet, while the show was running, I knew everything that was going on because of the commercials.

        I think you missed the point of the retardedness. Point was they were poking fun at everyday life. If you couldnt see that you should probably ask yourself who in fact is the retard here?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darundal (891860)
        I really didn't see any relation between the ads and Seinfeld's show, except for the physical presence of Seinfeld. The entire thing felt to me more like an attempt at duplicating the (supposed) comedy of Napoleon Dynamite
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:17AM (#25051997)

      They fucked up, now if I were in charge Bill would have been facing off against the Soup Nazi. Then they could have introduced Ballmer as Bill's heavy. "Ballmer want soup! You give Ballmer soup! Oook ook." Ballmer slowly swivels his head to look semi-intelligently at Jerry and Bill, "Seinfeld want soup! Mr developer guy, he want soup too, you give us soup!"

      The Soup Nazi yells "Next!" Ballmer picks up a chair ... (well you knew it was coming).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Aphoxema (1088507) *

        They fucked up, now if I were in charge Bill would have been facing off against the Soup Nazi. Then they could have introduced Ballmer as Bill's heavy. "Ballmer want soup! You give Ballmer soup! Oook ook." Ballmer slowly swivels his head to look semi-intelligently at Jerry and Bill, "Seinfeld want soup! Mr developer guy, he want soup too, you give us soup!"

        The Soup Nazi yells "Next!" Ballmer picks up a chair ... (well you knew it was coming).

        Shit, I'm already getting my wallet to go pick up a copy of Office 2007 now...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by badboy_tw2002 (524611)

        See, that's why Sienfeld was never funny - they should have followed the patented slashdot humor method:

        1. State joke
        2. Repeat joke 4 million times
        3. ???
        4. Funny!

    • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:38AM (#25053195) Homepage
      if they were discordian. penny hits the nail on the head. i have no idea what shoe squishing, churro munching jerry seinfeld is trying to sell, or for that matter what bill "wiggle-ass" gates has on the horizon besides hip displacia and a completely unrealistic scenario of him being spotted in the local mall by a million dollar celebrity.
  • by Pikoro (844299) <init@i[ ].sh ['nit' in gap]> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:05AM (#25051947) Homepage Journal
    "People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected."

    As if anyone understood the ad at all, let alone were happy about it.
    • by forgoil (104808)

      Not unexpected? Why did they make the commercials if they didn't even freakin' expect them to work? That's just amazingly stupid and unprofessional.

  • I enjoyed them! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Solokron (198043) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:06AM (#25051953)
    I for one actually enjoyed those ads! To see those two together in a commercial was uncanny.
  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:07AM (#25051959)
    Well the ad wasn't exactly imaginative. If it was supposed to compete with Apple's Mac vs. PC ads, which many people apparently find comical and true, it didn't do a very good job. They really need to come up with something better than that.
    • by AngryNick (891056) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:31AM (#25052337) Homepage Journal
      Like the OS, the ad I saw was bloated with themes and disconnected ideas that never seemed to come together to be anything amazing. Maybe there was going to be an SP1 for the ad that was going to explain it all?
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @07:39AM (#25052681) Journal
      Not imaginative? I can think of lots of criticisms for the ads, but I wouldn't put the failure down to lack of imagination. Lack of any selling points for the product, maybe (presumably they have some, but it's generally considered a good idea to tell the marketing guys what they are before they start designing the ads).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FireFury03 (653718)

        presumably they have some, but it's generally considered a good idea to tell the marketing guys what they are before they start designing the ads

        I looked at the ads and concluded that they'd got a bunch of marketing guys who had no clue what they were supposed to be selling and gave them a *lot* of glue to sniff...

    • by aussie_a (778472) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:25AM (#25053057) Journal

      If it was supposed to compete with Apple's Mac vs. PC ads, which many people apparently find comical and true

      Y'know I've never been a fan of negative ad campaigns. If the best thing you can say about your product is "we don't suck as much as the other guy" I'm probably not going to bother switching.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by FireFury03 (653718)

        Y'know I've never been a fan of negative ad campaigns. If the best thing you can say about your product is "we don't suck as much as the other guy" I'm probably not going to bother switching.

        This is why I often don't vote - none of the parties tell me what *they* plan to do, they only tell me what they think the other party is going to get wrong. So clearly if they aren't going to tell anyone about their policies then the policies are probably not worth voting for.

        Sadly, negative campaigns (both commercial and political) seem to become more and more popular so presumably they do work. :(

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745)

          No, you often don't vote because you are a lazy ass.
          You can look up voting records, history, etc...
          Stop making these pathetic excuses for not wanting tom get up off your ass.

      • by Gerad (86818) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @10:29AM (#25054709)

        You can be comparative without being negative. The Mac vs. PC ads do discuss PCs and sometimes point out PCs weaknesses, but a number of the ones I've seen also highlight what Apple has done to improve on the PC design (the magnetic laptop cords to mind).

  • Sadly expected (Score:5, Interesting)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:08AM (#25051967) Homepage

    I toldja - they shoulda gone with a real comedian. [today.com]

    I was looking for them working their way back through the comedic genius of history ... perhaps W.C. Fields next. All the way back to Aristophanes.

    Or, in a more famous joke:

    "Vista's slow, it's fat, I can't get drivers, my network grinds to a crawl when I play an mp3! What do you call that?"

    "... The Aristocrats!"

    • by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:08AM (#25052213)
      Rather re-invent the joke.

      Person: "Then I forced the ethernet-cable in the slot, rebooted while tearing out my nosehairs and slapping my dick at the computer in a vain attempt to feel superior...(5 minutes later)...then I did a defragmentation of the hard-drive but the damn things IS STILL TOO DAMN SLOW!".

      Talent-agent: " What do you call that?"

      Person: "The Vistacrats".
  • by PinkyDead (862370) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:13AM (#25051983) Journal

    Problem was that the sexual tension between those two guys was too intense - it would never have ended well.

  • by RLiegh (247921) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:22AM (#25052017) Homepage Journal

    ...I'm seeing those ads all over the place; I've only seen the Seinfeld ads twice, I think.

    What's strange is this --didn't MS drop the ad agency that came up with the Mojave ads because they were a flop?

    I guess when you've got nothing ...you've just got nothing.

  • Clearly I'm weird. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Angostura (703910) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:29AM (#25052063)

    I thought the first ad was limp, but I actually enjoyed the second one and was looking forward to more. Not that it would have made any difference to my OS-buying proclivities, but I thought they were at least interesting.

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:41AM (#25052107)
    FADE IN

    A Chair

    VOICEOVER: Vista. Use it. Or Else.

    FADE TO BLACK
  • by FornaxChemica (968594) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:54AM (#25052153) Homepage Journal
    "We made these ads because we knew you wouldn't like them. Yes, it was all planned. We made them so we could pull them. Now Vista's sales are not going to improve in any way. This is also planned. It's all part of a very clever plot in which we look like a bunch of idiots wasting time and money. Amazing! Fantastic! This is why we're number 1."
  • by Layth (1090489) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:00AM (#25052179)

    It was an advertisement about nothing.
    Haven't you guys ever seen an episode of Seinfeld?

  • by distantbody (852269) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:08AM (#25052215) Journal
    ...I for one LIKED the ads, with its 'nothingness' agenda... Surely they would have known that this brand campaign would need TIME and COMMITMENT to have a payoff!

    I'll repeat that: Surely they would have known that this brand campaign would need TIME and COMMITMENT to have a payoff! ....

    Maybe at least it's not too late...
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:13AM (#25052243) Homepage

    They got people talking. The last two TWiT podcasts, for example, included long discussions of the ads. The discussion was critical of them--but the ads got Leo Laporte and his guests to spend something like 30 minutes of some of the most valuable podcast time on the...er......uhm..,pod(?) talking about them.

    One of the guests, not quite seriously, did a detailed symbolic analysis of the second ad. He said the old lady represented Steve Jobs--she had been living with the family for the same amount of time since Steve came back to Apple.

  • by MarkKB (845289) <markkeyb@gmail.com> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:17AM (#25052259) Homepage

    I must be missing something. Cancelled?

    Cancelled is what happens when a contract is revoked. As far as I know, Microsoft is continuing with Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

    Cancelled is what happens if they were planning to make more of the same vein. I see no indication of that, but of the expectant bloggers.

    Microsoft had always said [techcrunch.com] that the Bill & Seinfield ads were not a campaign unto itself, but an icebreaker, or rather, "phase one". Indeed, it would not surprise me if Microsoft's announcement was all about the new ads [nytimes.com], and didn't mention Bill & Seinfield at all.

    Me thinks Valleywag focused on what they wanted to hear, not what was actually said overall.

  • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:25AM (#25052303)

    Microsoft says Vista is over â" In a phone call, Steve Ballmer, confirms that Microsoft is not going on with Vista, and echoes his underlings' spin that the move was planned. There is the "potential to do other things" with Windows, which Ballmer says is still "possible." He adds: "People would have been happier if everyone loved Vista, but this was not unexpected.""

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:38AM (#25052377)

    I saw the awful Gates & Seinfeld commercial last night where Gates does the Robot, and commented to my wife that Microsoft must have the lowest advertising ROI of all time. It's mind boggling that a company with that much money could do so poorly with their advertising campaigns. They can certainly afford to do better, so why don't they?

    It's surprising that Crispin Porter is their agency, since they're about the highest rated in the advertising game. Perhaps it's something about Microsoft that exudes a lameness that overwhelms all else.

  • My two cents. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:53AM (#25052443)

    The commercials seem to be about nothing. We don't learn about the product. I don't get how this was suppose to be helpful to Microsoft.

    I think a better idea, for a gimmick, would be, "Try Windows Vista. If you don't like it after 30 days, we'll buy you a copy of Ubuntu."

    (Yes, I'm trying for humour here.)

  • Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gaspyy (514539) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @07:21AM (#25052599)

    "Microsoft To Announce Jerry Seinfeld Ads Cancelled "

    Even Digg managed to find a more appropriate headline:
    "Microsoft's New Ad:Seinfeld and Gates out, Hodgman Lookalike"
    linking to the NYTimes article "Echoing the Campaign of a Rival, Microsoft Aims to Redefine 'I'm a PC'"

    To those who actually think the Gates/Seinfeld got canceled: the commercials played for one week each. Now in the third week and today we get the 'new' style. Do you honestly think they scrambled to get something done within a week?

    I know the Slashdot crowd hates MS with a passion but don't let your hate cloud your judgement.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @07:36AM (#25052663)
    Seinfeld is an actor who built his reputation on a sitcom in which the other characters were, for the most part, losers. He then appears in an advert intended to remind people of this sitcom, in which the other character is William Gates III.

    The symbolism seems sufficiently obvious. But it leaves me with a major set of questions. How did Steve Jobs manage to bribe the ad agency to come up with the idea? How did they manage to get Microsoft to fall for it? Does the Jobs reality distortion field really extend that far?

    I guess, since a lot of creative ad people are still Mac fanboys, the first part might have been easy. But the second part must have been the pitch from hell. Perhaps it only worked because the Gates mansion is so vast that Gates has never found the TV room and so never seen the programme.

  • by qazwart (261667) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:01AM (#25052859) Homepage

    That's probably the thinking at Microsoft. Apple has these ads with two guys talking to each other, and that's cool. We should do the same. And, who's cooler than that 1990 comedy sensation, Jerry Steinfeld?

    The problem is that Apple had two people, one young and cool, the other old and not-so-cool. Microsoft's ads had two old, not-so-cool people in them. I'm sure that all of them college kids really related to two 50+ years olds wandering around and talking about random stuff.

    I can hear them now: "Hey, that's just like my grandpa! Right before we put him in the nursing home."

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:16AM (#25052983)

    The show was not about "nothing", as joked about in some episodes, it was about four *extremely* *unlikeable* people *doing* nothing.

    The last episode was the clue-by-four to the head for all those viewers who didn't get it; they bring back all the people whose lives had been casually wrecked by the main characters, and in the end (SPOILER ALERT, if you care), they end up all locked in a cell, the ultimate punishment that they have to spend their time together.

    And from this Microsoft thought they could improve their branding? If anything, it's somehow appropriate, Microsoft is the company that casually wrecks your (digital) life.
     

  • Crap commercials. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:54AM (#25054083)

    The commercials were lame, but as far as crap commercials they're far from the worst. I feel like a good 75% of commercials have been developed not for the sake of the client but rather so that the advertising company has yet another portfolio piece.

  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @10:52AM (#25055105) Journal
    I can see Apple's response to this admission of failure, now.

    Mac: Hello, I'm a Mac.
    PC: An I'm a PC.
    Mac: What's wrong PC you look a little down?
    PC: Well, Mac's got this slick advertising campaign-thing going, so...
    Mac: You mean like how the benefits and ease of using a Mac is explained in contrast to the competition?
    PC: Yeah, and--
    Mac: And your new ads don't represent any of that?
    PC: Well, yeah, but--
    Mac: In fact, the only thing your ads really did have was a shoe-squeezing, churro-munching, butt-wiggling figurehead and a worn-out comedy act that's staler than month old toast.
    PC: Well, it's not all bad. It got people talking--
    Mac: Yeah, "WTF" maybe, that's not good talking.
    PC: But, those ads did do wonders to show off the capabilities of the Mac, y'know?
    Mac: Wait, what?
    PC: Yeah, the ad agency uses Macs for all of their productions.
    Mac: Gimme a break.
    PC: I will not. I'll have you know the entire campaign was done in iMovie.
    Mac: That's bull--
    PC: Oh yeah. That horrible ad campaign? We wouldn't have been able to get it done without the ease of use of a brand new iMac. I guess it's really your fault.
    Mac: Oh jesus--
    PC: Do you feel it, Mac? The darkness wriggling inside of you?
    Mac: I'm gonna be sick--
    PC: This is your fault, Mac!
    *Mac doubles-over and throws up on the floor.*
    PC: Yeah, that's it. Now bend over and take your Vista install like a good little--

    The future. Deceitful.
  • I liked the ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Thursday September 18, 2008 @12:22PM (#25056571) Homepage Journal

    OK, maybe it's because I actually didn't pay much attention to them, but they seemed consistent with Bill Gates' sense of humor. Remember the "Da da da" ad with the he and Ballmer driving around and finding a discarded SUN workstation?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrwnJDQy0ic [youtube.com]

    I can't really imagine what a "good" Microsoft ad would possibly look like, so I think the WTF ads we got were kind of neat, considering they came from the former richest man in the world probably as part of some ego-stroke / lifelong dream.

    Of all the things we've seen and expected from Bill Gates, I'd have to say this ranks as "cool" . Strange, but cool.

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