Latest Microsoft ad is longer, funnier, still weird

Microsoft has released the second ad in its new campaign, and as expected, this latest skit makes almost as little sense as the previous one. It is longer, though, and it has more comedic elements than the first ad. The video shows Gates and Seinfeld attempting to live with a suburban family, complete with wacky hijinks and a crotchety mother-in-law.

Microsoft has loaded the piece up on YouTube, allowing folks to pass it around and conveniently embed it in news posts, like so:

According to a ZDNet report, the four-minute ad aired during CBS’ reality TV show Big Brother. The site quotes a Microsoft spokesman as saying, “Very shortly, we will move into another phase of the campaign that will be about Windows.” This third, less-nonsensical ad should air within “days,” he adds.

Comments closed
    • Buub
    • 11 years ago

    Penny Arcade makes an insightful comment…

    (Warning, bad words)

    §[< http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/9/15/<]§

    • Maximus_is
    • 11 years ago

    i love this ad… so good!!
    Did anyone else pick up on the old product, just new sauce joke about macs (which i tend to agree with) from the dinner?
    I found it hilarious… can’t wait for more

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    I saw the first commercial on TV the other day. I noticed that something was cut from the version that was linked here though, and it was something that when I first watched it here I was surprised and wondered if they really just said that. When they’re in the shoe store and trying out the ‘Conquistador’ there was a brief shot Hispanic family looking through the glass and say something about ‘el conquistador.’ I’m no politcally correct nut but that actually offended me a little. Did anyone else notice that in the first ad and then notice that it’s no longer in the ad? And what the hell were they thinking putting that in there in the first place?

      • SpikeMeister
      • 11 years ago

      In what way is that offensive?

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    Why is everyone assuming they’re advertising Vista with these commercials?

    • clone
    • 11 years ago

    I liked it, kind of lavish for a non add though….. are they trying to un-evil the general impression MS has to some?

    thought it was pretty funny overall although I assumed the crabby grandmother was the culprit for the giraffe.

    it was worth watching just not sure on the point of it all.

    • fantastic
    • 11 years ago

    Entertaining and free. I do not object. Not terribly funny though.

    I do have to wonder how much that cost Microsoft though.

      • d0g_p00p
      • 11 years ago

      I think MS is spending 300M on the entire campaign.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 11 years ago

    I noticed recently that YouTube is getting very anal and is deleting a *lot* of videos. I didn’t think they go so far as to delete this one too. I can see the popularity of YouTube soon drop.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    You know what would be funny, unlike their ad, is if they actually work a day in their life.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      yeah because microsoft and seinfeld the tv show were both built with zero effort from these guys… >_>

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    74 comments so far. Yes, the campaign is working.

    • mixpix
    • 11 years ago

    Well I laughed. I think it was a good ad, but I don’t see how it really helps Windows Vista at all. It’s about time MS starts to show the positives of Vista to the average person.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    power down.

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    People are forgetting that Microsoft does not own the hardware. This is why apple can make it easy for jane/joe because they have total control of their products hardware and software.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      And this is why everybody hates them save for Joe and Jane.

      • sigher
      • 11 years ago

      Not just people, microsoft also forgot they don’t own our hardware.

    • Vrock
    • 11 years ago

    Heh. Seinfeld still makes me want to kill kittens every time I hear his voice, but Bill’s performance was fun.

    • neon
    • 11 years ago

    If that girl were smarter, she should have phoned in a tip to the “Business Leather Giraffe Alliance”.

    Then if she were determined to be eligible, she might receive up to $1million reward.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    Better.

    Yesterday I walked a coworker to the mac store and helped her pick out a macbook. The mac dude took over and was genuinely nonannoying and helpful, cool, and didn’t upsell us, push us, or annoy. When she got back to the office, a crowd of people gathered to ooo and ah, and the receptionist is apparently ordering one today.

    Now, I had also given her the option of going to the local office depot to look at Vista machines (at 2/3 the cost, I might ad), the only other place downtown you can even get a computer. I imagined the stark lighting, the salespeople that aren’t going to sit for 40 minutes and explain all the options and features, etc. She didn’t hesitate in sticking with what she saw with the mac.

    I think Microsoft has a significant problem with image, and this isn’t helping rectify it. BTW, I’m a 80% windows 20% linux admin, and haven’t used a mac OS in 10+ years. But I can tell without hesitation that macs are better for Joe/Jane usersg{<...<}g

      • NeXus 6
      • 11 years ago

      They might be a bit easier for Joe and Jane users, but most of them aren’t going to pay the higher price. Oh, and Joe/Jane gamer aren’t going to buy a Mac, but you already knew that.

        • dragmor
        • 11 years ago

        Joe / Jane gamer already have a Wii, so no need for a PC there.

          • NeXus 6
          • 11 years ago

          Nope, because they spent all their money on the Mac. :p

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      This is the best post I’ve read all week.

      • dmjifn
      • 11 years ago

      I had a very similar experience within the past two months when advising my gf on getting a new PC for her mom. In our case, we _[

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      Yea, sure…;) That explains exactly why Apple’s world-wide market share hovers eternally at ~2% or so. I guess it’s that “Joe/Jane” phenomenon you’re talking about?….;)

      Really, had it been me and a co-worker (and actually it /[

        • dragmor
        • 11 years ago

        You’ve got the Apple store vs Apple retailer problem.

        Apple store = large, spacious, elegant, product focused, helpfull & knowledgeble staff
        Apple retailer = Apple product sitting on a shelf in the middle of all the others with staff that advise not getting it because its not windows.

        Most of the world doesn’t have Apple stores.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 11 years ago

        The Mac is way more popular in the states, say 8-10%. More importantly over the last two years its growth rate is usually a good 10% more higher than the PC growth rate.

        So yeah joe/jane are hearing Vista sucks balls (right or wrong) and Apple is great (right or wrong) One thing is for sure once the go the Apple route the percentage of people coming back is like 2%.

        For joe/jane that just need a computer for email, web surfing, pictures, home video, etc. A mac with iLife blows a PC away. I take of extended family members computers, and some have Macs, I never hear from them. If I do its not a problem but a how to question. The PC side, there is always a fraking problem, usually self inflicted malware. One thing is clear, they hate Vista.

        • green
        • 11 years ago

        it’s different where i work. they always go for a mac. after they find out it’s tax deductible…

      • Kurlon
      • 11 years ago

      That doesn’t match my last experience at an Apple store. I went in fairly certain of what I wanted. I was coming from a near dead Wallstreet laptop running 10.0, and a frankenmac G4 running 10.4 that I sold to pay for it’s pending replacement, a shiny new G5 Power Mac. My one concern, weather or not the base 2.5ghz conf would have enough umph for WoW, or if I’d need to spring for a BTO unit with a better video card.

      I called ahead and asked if I could try out WoW on one of the floor models if I brought in my own copy with license, and they said sure.

      So, 2 hour drive later (The closest store to me at the time was in NH, we’re just now getting one in Portland ME, and I wanted to use my student discount.) I arrive, external drive and WoW box in hand. Slimey McPushy latched on to me the moment I walked in. First he assumed I had never touched anything with a mouse, which was irritating, then as I’m poking at the display model, noting hw specs, trying some things to get a feel for it’s perf, he’s yammering on about stuff, trying to take over my demo to show me things I don’t care about. Finally he takes the hint when I stop responding that I’d like to just feel the machine out for myself, k plz tnx and wanders to shove products at someone else.

      15 minutes later I’m satisfied that I know exactly what conf I’ll need, and look around for an available sales rep as there are no boxed machines on the sales floor. Unfortunately for me Slimey is all that’s available. Gah, ok, he’ll have to do. I walk over, and politely ask for a base G5, sans wireless (Hey, why spend $50 if you don’t have to?). He immediately tries to up sell me on wireless, despite my A) Not having any wireless equipment whatsoever, B) not planning on dragging my stupid heavy G5 tower all over the place, especially when it’s home is right in my network rack, and C) am not allowed for security reasons to access work over a wireless link anyways. After finally convincing him I didn’t in fact want wifi functionality, he then tried to talk me into buying a printer, which again I had no interest in. Then it was iPods, ’cause you gotta have one if you’re getting a mac… etc etc.

      For those thinking I’m exaggerating, I’m not saying he just tossed the idea out there, I mean I had to literally argue with him to convince him to just go and get the damn machine I wanted without all the other garbage. My wife (gf at the time) was with me, and she commented on how dumbfounded she was by the whole thing once we got outside the store.

      I haven’t been to an Apple store since. I got this MBP from a local shop that carries Apple as a secondary brand. Much better experience. I wandered in, asked about the MBP model I was interested in, they dug one out, and handed it to me as a demo. I played with it for a bit, compared to a Macbook that they also setup for a demo, and when I had a question they happily answered. No up sell, no push. I walked out with a MBP, and a laptop case, and Applecare, and have been back a few times since for other things.

      • xii
      • 11 years ago

      When my girlfriend went to the Mac store for a laptop, we were greeted by both a young man and woman. As soon as they figured out she was the one that was buying, the salesman left and the saleswoman starts a calm conversation with my girlfriend, not pushing too obviously, but listening, suggesting and letting her try out the things she wanted to do with the MacBook. She guided my girlfriend through the whole process like an old friend, relating to her and not once making her feel stupid (which might be the worst aspect of buying something technical for a lot of women and even some men).

      I’m not a Mac fan, and I generally can’t stand salespeople… But it was a surprisingly smooth experience, and my girlfriend walked out with confidence and feeling good about having spent such a load of cash.

      I’m not sure if buying a meat-n-potatoes Windows PC can be such a wholesome and well-oiled experience, and having such a clear product line, brand and specialised staff help Apple in ways Microsoft can only dream of. Microsoft, as software vendor, can’t offer such a well-integrated whole (in the PC market).

      Can you even sell an OS to non-technical users? Does anybody ever ask if it runs Windows? I don’t really see what’s behind these commercials except, perhaps, creating a more friendly and familiar image.

      • provoko
      • 11 years ago

      Image? So phony. Apple is successful at one thing, that’s convincing trendy kids and young adults into thinking you’re NOT cool if you don’t own their stuff. It’s soooo sad. I feel sad for anyone who buys a mac for 4-5 times the price of a PC and end up doing the same things.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 11 years ago

    To be honest, I don’t think Microsoft’s goal is to promote Vista per se in these ads. In fact with slightly over a year to Windows 7 launch, they are just trying to create a favorable image of Microsoft in general as a company, by using familiar faces that people know and like and making them interact with the “average joe” So they soften up the public a little with these ads, preparing the grounds for a completely rebranded W7 launch later.

    Now personally I can’t identify with any of the people in the ad, and is sure as hell isn’t going to make me buy (or try) Vista until Windows 7 launch, but it probably made me a bit more likely to use other microsoft software, some of which is actually not half bad.

    • alex666
    • 11 years ago

    Patience. This is not the first time that an ad campaign has started with a rather nebulous message. I’m sure in the not-too-distant future there will be info ad nauseam in these commercials about the wonders of Vista.

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    Now I’m pretending the Bill Gates and Seinfeld are walking about my home, and I keep trying to hit em for some financial tips or sing em a song. Wait a minute, thinking about this add on a deeper level makes the add seem good. But I think a lot of people might think it’s just weird. Thinking about that a little deeper and I think Apple might make have a easy target in their next round of ads.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    What I think is weird is the near-unanimous turnaround of opinion from TR readers. Are people swayed so easily? Maybe the article headline and light tone from Cyril lends itself to such responses. I mean, /[

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    It’s a great ad. Completely the inverse of the annoying and smug Apple ads.

      • NeXus 6
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed. The Mac and PC guy ads have gone stale and haven’t been all that effective. It’s nice to see Microsoft do something different for a change.

      • The Dark One
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah.

      I like John Hodgman and dislike Bill Gates, but the Apple ads make me lunge for the remote while this one was actually entertaining. Still no plans on buying Vista, though.

      • Bummer
      • 11 years ago

      Totally agree with you on that one.I mean who do they think they are..??..smug bastards

      • provoko
      • 11 years ago

      I hate all Apple ads. The arrogance is out the butt. The history of apple ads have been the same.

      Apple used to make IBM look like some kind of evil empire. And they used to target rich white men, why, because they have more money.

      • CB5000
      • 11 years ago

      I totally agree as well!! I like the new Microsoft ads because they are light-harted, whimsical, weird, and looks at technology in a different light. The apple ads really are smug as hell… just like all of those rich, ignorant, green, liberal bastards that think they know everything… not that there is anything wrong with being green and liberal…. but it’s mainly the combination of rich and ignorant that annoys the heck out of me.

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    Being accused of stealing something they didn’t? *cough* ^_^

    I enjoyed it.

      • FireGryphon
      • 11 years ago

      The little girl represents Steve Jobs 😀

    • ew
    • 11 years ago

    Seriously? Is each of these ads going to get it’s own article? Do people really care about this stupid stuff?

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      arstechnica used to post every time new mac ads appeared.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    There’s guys are good, I hope they get their own sitcom.

      • Spurenleser
      • 11 years ago

      +1! Way funnier than most of the stuff on TV. Power down!

    • tfp
    • 11 years ago

    The game the kid was playing must have been the next Duke Nukem.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      I think it was a subtle reference to one infamous early 360 leak. There was a post a video and managed to get a prototype through his father. Who was an MS employee. XD

        • tfp
        • 11 years ago

        Interesting, I didn’t hear about that.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    It is a very good ad.

    It exactly demonstrates the entire senseless FUD campaign against Vista since the day when RC1 was released from average joe’s perspective.

    They are not so sure about Vista at first glance. The young ones get a first stab. There is one group who obviously likes it (the little boys), while another group who hates it (the young girls towards the ending). The one girl uses her little ploy to smear Vista as the big bad guy.

    The ad also manages to squeeze in on how average joe deals with malware and functions of new Windows Serach. The stuffed giraffe being the suspected file. Bill Gates representing Vista. Jerry was Windows Search.

    • lordT
    • 11 years ago

    I liked it. Made me smile more than a couple of times.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    Nice… I LOL’d and left me with a smile. Not too many commercials do that for me these days anyway. Plus, I watched all 4+ minutes of it which surprised me. Say what you will about the nonsense ad its relevance, but anything that can hold an American’s attention span for more than 20 seconds is good in my book.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Maybe its just me but a 4 minute + ad for tv seems to be too long. Only informercials typically go that long. But I gues we’ll see

    • wingless
    • 11 years ago

    That was actually pretty good. It doesn’t have a DAMN thing to do with Vista but it may make for a funny TV show. One of the world’s richest guys and Seinfeld doing a show about “nothing”. Its like having a billionaire in the place of Kramer.

      • Sanctusx2
      • 11 years ago

      I liked it too ha. Certainly more humorous and sensical than the first one.

    • Grigory
    • 11 years ago

    I can see it now. These ads will make all the I-am-better-than-you-Linux-fanboys see the light and not be obnoxious anymore. Thank you Microsoft!

    But seriously, who ARE the people targeted by these ads? If you have 90% market dominance, who dou you target? The people who already buying your products so they keep buying them? The few who don’t buy your products and never will? The mind boggles.

      • CheetoPet
      • 11 years ago

      See the light? But the light burns my pale flesh!!!

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    hahaha. Only Microsoft could make a commercial that people hunt for on the internet. It’s not like I’m ever going to see it on TV.

    • Silus
    • 11 years ago

    I LOL’ed. Good stuff.

    • drkicker
    • 11 years ago

    Leave it to MS to turn a 30 second annoyance during shows into a 4 minute annoyance. Only they could find a way to put bloatware on TV.

    • poulpy
    • 11 years ago

    Funnier than the first one wasn’t that hard really, this only made me smile a couple of times whereas the first one made me want to cry..
    Still looks like a big waste of money but it’s not like they’ll really miss it anyway.

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t get it, is this just about 2 guys that peaked in the 90’s and are desperately struggling to stay relevant now?

      • neon
      • 11 years ago

      Right – can an episode of The Odd Couple be too far off?

        • tay
        • 11 years ago

        Amazing reply. I saw the first one and didnt know wtf they were advertising for.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      i hope people keep making that joke throughout this campaign.

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    “Doesn’t Make Sense. Windows ™.”

    If you cursed your car daily, you wouldn’t buy that make again, so I can see why Microsoft are trying to make people feel fuzzy about them, like pretty much any advertising campaign that is about keeping marketshare (like all the Coke adverts, they’re not about gaining marketshare, just keeping awareness high).

      • Pax-UX
      • 11 years ago

      Once they like you the Halo effect will kick in for your other products. That’s not a bad idea, Windows (Halo edition)

    • cegras
    • 11 years ago

    It’s a bit disappointing because the adds are not as viral as they seem to be. Under 1 million views for the first add …

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      well it ran on TV, too.

    • blastdoor
    • 11 years ago

    Ok, I’m starting to get this ad campaign.

    The idea really is just to make people feel warm and fuzzy about MS.

    In this case, they’re trying to persuade us to view MS products as quirky but lovable guests in our house instead of a frustrating irritant. Sure, Vista might clip its nails in your bedroom, but it can be so charming at other times! And it’s not really Vista that stole your leather giraffe — it was people trying to make Vista look bad (Apple)!

    I think MS will have some limited success with this, but very limited, and probably not enough to justify the costs.

    But you know who should really be doing this? Obama or McCain. It’s a great way to humanize someone who is difficult to relate to. The fact that it’s all actors and totally fake doesn’t matter — people can’t tell the difference anyway, and I don’t think they even try anymore.

      • BKA
      • 11 years ago

      What insight!!! It must be too early because I didn’t get the connection until reading your post.

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      I didn’t get that from this at all, it just seems then want to connect with normal users or something.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Whoa, that’s one way to look at it.. i guess. It still made even less sense to me than the previous one.

      I also submitted this to TR last night but somehow no love was giveth..

      Adi

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    that is so weird. Good thing I got in on the ground floor with Vista, so I don’t trip over all the cool kids picking up their copy once this hits TV.

    • Rzooq
    • 11 years ago

    Weird, but I loled @ 1:15

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    This is so out of the box for Microsoft its gotta be good for them lol
    Keep em coming and let’s hope they get funnier.

      • [TR]
      • 11 years ago

      Pity MS isn’t a marketing firm, right?
      I still don’t see the need for these adds.

    • nstuff
    • 11 years ago

    what the…

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    That was weird. Entertaining though.

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      Just weird to me, and boring.

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