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Moist and Chewy

When the new campaign was announced a few weeks back, there was much discussion surrounding the selection of Mr. Seinfeld as a spokesman. Microsoft did not want a celebrity who was "too cool" or "trendy", and settled on Jerry as an established name with wide recognition and strong appeal with most segments and age brackets.

The first spot, produced by the renowned French director Michel Gondry, is now hitting the airwaves and comes in somewhere between completely irrelevant and a bad acid trip. If you haven't caught it, it's a 90-second spot where Jerry runs into Bill Gates buying shoes ("Conquistadores"- they run tight) at a shopping mall. Along the way we learn that Bill is a size 10, doesn't wear clothes in the shower, and is a Shoe Circus Clown Club Member- Platinum Level.

The closing scene has Bill adjusting his shorts and confirming that Microsoft is apparently working on plans to "make our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can eat them while we're working". I feel stupid even typing that.

This is reportedly a $300 million ad campaign, and my guess is that students of advertising will analyze it extensively. The outcome of that analysis will be a radical redirection in this campaign- probably with a few heads rolling at Microsoft and their ad agency. Mr. Seinfeld became a cultural icon with his "show about nothing", but Microsoft will eventually figure out that computer ads have to be about something.