Tuesday, September 9, 2008

7 cents worth on Microsoft


Seeing as everyone is piling on to the new Microsoft ad starring Bill and Jerry, and I'm really energized by community activities, here's my own piece...

1 cent: Everyone is piling on. When was the last time this many people had anything to say, positive or negative, about a Microsoft communication? Score for CPB.

2 cents: It's one ad, the first salvo in what is going to be a much, much larger effort. I find it odd that the people criticizing this one single ad are the same people who say successful marketing communications takes more than one single ad.

3 cents: The ad itself is funny enough. It warms Microsoft up, which of course it sorely needed.

4 cents: The underlying message that Microsoft is bringing you the future is a fair enough place for them to play. For the vast majority of computer users, it's the truth, no matter what we Apple nuts think.

5 cents: Every creative who has ever touched a Microsoft brief for the first time has wanted to use Bill Gates in their work. And every time, the suggestion has been shouted down. Congratulations to CPB for finding the path.

6 cents: Using Seinfeld in a commercial, doing Seinfeld, has the same creative freshness that using John Cleese doing John Cleese once had.

7 cents: For some, the presence of Seinfeld will make Bill Gates, and by extension Microsoft, look cooler. For others, me included, the contrast will not be a positive one, only confirming their prior opinions. Jerry is funny and natural, Bill is geeky and forced.

There. 7 cents worth. Which coincidentally is the royalty that Microsoft first charged IBM per installed copy of the DOS operating system.* Now that was a great idea.

*Okay, I made that number up. It was actually $1 a copy. But who can find 100 cents worth of stuff to say about one, single opening message from a $300 million effort?

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