The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Microsoft Does Not Compute …
September 9, 2008, 7:12 am
Filed under: Comment

This is quite a hard post to write because it involves me slagging off an agency and a mate who have been great to friends and colleagues to me/us in the past – however as they’ve never been backward in informing us when we’ve done something shit, I guess it’s only fair I repay the favour. ๐Ÿ™‚

Without doubt Microsoft would be a hard beast to manage – plus I appreciate this is the first of a ‘set’ of ads that aims to make the monopoly more ‘people friendly’, but unlike some who say it isn’t enough about Microsoft, my beef is that it’s just a very bad script with a very weak idea.

Hell, when Bill Gates comes across better than Jerry or even Keanu, you know there’s something dodgy going on and as much as much as I congratulate the company founder for ‘having a go’, the net effect is that Microsoft’s perception changes very little at all – infact it could be argued it makes them look even worse as they are obviously trying so hard to be cool, that it automatically makes them look uncooler than the most uncool thing in the World.

OK … OK … so perception change of this magnitude is not going to happen overnight and interms of tone, they are miles away from where they once were – however just like the SIA ads I’ve ‘talked about’ in the past, the disruptive effect of these ads is not positive [at least at this point] which begs the question, why did the ego-maniacs at Crispin [ ๐Ÿ™‚ ] make the bloody thing because even they don’t come out of it looking good.

And why Jerry Seinfeld?

WHY JERRY “I’m not funny or relevant anymore” SEINFELD?

It all smacks of people with too much money fulfilling their egos and their pension plans.

A while back I slagged off Microsoft for their awful launch campaign for Vista and you know what, as bad as that was – and it was fucking terrible – this spot has not altered my attitude towards the brand one jot, which is very bad news for Microsoft/Crispin but possibly great news for McCaan’s who can say they achieved the same level of apathy for a fraction of the millions this little episode has cost.

The mark of a great agency – at least for me – is when people are genuinely excited to see what brave brilliance they are going to come up with on an old and tired account. Sadly, like BBH’s campaign for British Airways, I am left wondering what the hell happened because what should have been great has come out so bad.

Saying that, this campaign has done one thing … it’s explained why Pete is joining us ๐Ÿ™‚

20 Comments so far
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I bet Pete did this on purpose. Thanks alot buddy I’ll see what I can do to make your clients welcome you here as positively as mine will welcome me there. Stop smiling Rob you utter and total bastard, it is not funny not even a little bit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Dear Peter. You have no idea how happy you have made me professionally and personally. Thank you very much, you are my man of the year.

Sorry Billy. Sorry Bill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Bazza

I can’t remember where I read this, but the key difference between Apple’s and Microsoft’s marketing styles is Apple presents a finished product while Microsoft announces a product (and usually has to scale down, ie. the announced Longhorn and the finished Vista).
It is so obvious in this spot. Bill’s shakin’ butt promising better computers (likely: “custom fit to your personal needs at discount rates” the bold counter-position to Apple! mark my words!) is just more announcement of something big.

Comment by Jonathan

I think it’s not as bad as the stuff Crispin did for Nike (sorry). But as much as I liked it back then, because it meant WK getting back the Nike account, I feel sorry here. Not because I want Microsoft back at McCann (holy shit I give a fuck about both) but because I thought Crispin could come up with something great here.
Unfortunately it’s just a not so funny sequel to Seinfeld. With Bill instead of Jason Alexander.

Comment by Seb

It’s shit. The end.

Comment by Marcus

So you take the former head of the company, you get him to buy some cheap shoes and this elicits thoughts of improved use experience in the high-tech sector? Damn, you ad guys are clever. I can’t wait to buy my next “soft and chewy” computer program.

But I am in awe of the ability to adjusts one’s pants by a single shake of the hips. Or was that just evidence of how much this thing stinks?

Comment by John Dodds

I’m in awe of an agency that can sell this kind of shit to a client John.

Comment by Marcus

Absolutely Marcus. Bill Gates created a great company and is doing even greater things with his foundation, but just because he appeared in a couple of in-house videos in recent years is no reason to expose the inevitable clunkiness of his “acting” to the wider world, especially when you’re trying to sell your product as less clunky than before. Of course, that is exactly the reason why they could sell it in – they were pandering to the in-house joke when they should have been looking outwards. Anyway, the only way that people will buy this message is when they produce the products that don’t frustrate.

p.s. On subject of your other post, Neil can walk safely towards the abyss because he’ll be wearing that huge read and white parachute you sent him.

Comment by John Dodds

You don’t think it’s funny but you watch it over and over again. So Crispin at least created a commercial that is a bit like Windows itself: everybody knows it’s shit but buys it all the same. Unless you buy a top notch product that is the Mac.

Comment by Seb

I have watched it once.

Comment by Marcus

Me too.

Comment by John Dodds

A few slightly amusing moments and a majorly bad casting decision combined with what appears to be no actual message or thought whatsoever.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Knock Knock.

Whose There?

Crispin Porter.

Crispin Porter Who?

That’s advertising.

Comment by Bazza

How long have you been waiting to use that joke Baz? Funny but unquestionably mean.

As for my comment on the commercial, I think this is where I opt to take the 5th which won’t come as a surprise to any of you.

Comment by George

as much as i have never liked microsoft computers, what shits me the most about these bad ads is that now apple will have an even greater share of the consumer market. which is all well and good for them, but one thing i loved about macs being such a small piece of the pie was that nobody in their right mind would bother trying to fuck them up with a virus/worm/trojan whatever. the bigger they get, the more likely it is that some schmuck is gonna fuck my shit up. selfish? you bet ya.

i can’t wait to see the mac ads in response to these ones. tee hee.

Comment by lauren

if that’s what we lost against, … i am speechless.

Comment by Michael

Just got back from the World’s longest day and I’m pleased to see ‘on topic’ comments … which sadly for Pete and Crispin, are all in agreement with my general attitude.

Saying that, I met a cock from Landor Management Consultants who liked it but his reasons were so fucked up I am going to have to write a post about it to get the toxic taste out my mouth … but that will have to wait another day as I’m tired … so tired infact that I could swear Bazza actually told a funny joke which just can’t be possible based on my 4 years of working with him ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Rob

You’re mistaken.

Comment by John Dodds

Is it OK for me to come back yet?

Comment by Pete

No ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Rob

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