Do you remember that half a billion dollar Microsoft ad campaign we told you about a couple of months ago, architected to improve the image of Microsoft and Windows Vista? Well, the first two ads in the campaign have hit, and if nothing else, they've got people talking.
The first ad featured Jerry Seinfeld stumbling upon Bill Gates shopping in a Shoe Circus store for discount shoes. There's some wacky banter between the two, a few funny moments, and an Easter egg or two (am I the only one that noticed Bill's mugshot on the platinum card?), but basically nothing Microsoft or technology related comes up, except for an off the wall question from Jerry at the very end.
The brand new second ad that just hit the web is devoid of any tech-talk as well. Instead, it features Bill and Jerry as houseguests trying to connect with an ordinary family...
The ad is worth watching if just to see Bill Gates do the robot, but there are a number of other funny bits as well. And I too love a condiment with booze in it. The underlying message in the commercial though is that Bill and Jerry are a little "out of it" and need to "connect with real people".
So far the theme of the first two ads have been "The Future" and "Perpetually Connecting". We're speculating of course, but at this point Microsoft's key message with these ads may be to ask consumers to forget about the past--the wired stuff is behind us--and look to the future now that Microsoft has supposedly listened to your concerns and fixed many of the major issues that Vista was initially panned for.
Will it work? Who knows. But these types of funky campaigns, in conjunction with the "Mojave Project" ads, are good at spurring conversation. And if that conversation centers around the new-found fun image Microsoft is putting out and Vista's redeeming qualities, Microsoft wins.