9.05.2008

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld advertise shoes

The first Microsoft commercial with Jerry Seinfeld debuted today. It featured the comedian meeting up with Bill Gates at a shoe store, where they eat churros, try on shoes, and otherwise pal it up.

Yes, Seinfeld is the new pitchman for Microsoft. For a reported $10 million, he's charged with restoring the Redmond software giant's luster, tarnished after the Windows Vista launch, and somehow not polished by the Mojave Project.

You can watch the commercial on Microsoft's Web site, or by clicking the embedded YouTube video below.

In the ad, Seinfeld helps Gates buy a pair of shoes, while Gates demonstrates that he's quite frugal. The shoes are a metaphor, of course.

A theme of the ad is that the shoes he's trying on are known to be uncomfortable, but if you take the time to break them in, you'll grow to love them. Presumably, that's a reference to Windows Vista: It doesn't seem right at first, but after a while you'll get used to it.

The shoe store is "Shoe Circus: Quality Shoes at Discount Prices. Why Pay More?" That's a clear reference to Apple. You learn that Gates has been shopping at Shoe Circus for many years.

The shoes that Gates buys are named "Conquistador." Is that a not-too-subtle reference to Windows' still-dominant market position? At one point, onlooking shoppers ask in Spanish, "Is that The Conquistador?" It's not immediately obvious if they mean the famously tight shoes, or if they mean the former CEO of Microsoft, the wealthiest man in the world.


1 comment:

denis bider said...

It's a ridiculously bad advertisement.

If Seinfeld came up with this, he should be returning his fee.

I don't think anyone will ever quite totally understand what the ad is about - if, in fact, it is about anything in the first place.

Apple's campaign with the "PC guy" was way more effective. This doesn't measure up at all.

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.