John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Seriously, Windows Is Just Another Way of Saying We Have Each Other?

Microsoft’s new ad campaign isn’t even a month old and already the company is de-featuring it. It’s dropping Jerry Seinfeld for the time being.

Microsoft claims it had always planned to do this. Seinfeld was part of “phase one” of the campaign, it says. But he’s not part of “phase two,” which will feature some new personalities as well as Microsoft’s own version of the dorky PC guy in Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads.

That’s a reasonable explanation I suppose, though it’s a bit suspect given the response the campaign has elicited so far (you know your new ad campaign is a success when you’ve got to post an explanation of it on the company Web site). And, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points out, “no one signs Jerry Seinfeld for $10 million in a much-heralded deal to make just two spots that only run for a grand total of two weeks.”

Perhaps the idea of Gates and Seinfeld mingling with the proletariat wasn’t quite as humanizing as Microsoft had hoped.

In any event, Seinfeld is gone and “phase two” begins tonight with some 60-second spots that hope to reclaim the “I’m a PC” image that Apple’s made such a mockery of (see videos below). Among them, an ad featuring a dopplegänger of the dorky PC character in Apple campaign’s campaign. His line: “Hello. I’m a PC. And I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

Zing … ?

A brazen move, engaging Apple and acknowledging a marketing campaign that has done so much to undermine the Microsoft brand. But can Microsoft pull it off and turn Apple’s disparagement to its advantage? And is the best way of attempting to recast itself as a populist, and a populist with a $230 billion market cap at that? Recast itself like this?

Windows vs. Walls. This epic struggle explains why we make what we make and do what we do. The thing that gets us out of bed every day is the prospect of creating pathways above, below, around and through walls. To start a dialogue between hundreds of devices, billions of people and a world of ideas. To lift up the smallest of us. And catapult the most audacious of us. But, most importantly, to connect all of us to the four corners of our own digital lives and to each other. To go on doing the little stuff, the big stuff, the crazy stuff and that ridiculously necessary stuff. On our own or together. This is more than software we’re talking about. It’s an approach to life. An approach dedicated to engineering the absence of anything that might stand in the way … of life. Today, more than one billion people worldwide have Windows. Which is just another way of saying we have each other.”

Wha? Windows is just another way of saying we have each other?

I think I liked “Phase One” better … Is it too late to bring back Seinfeld?

Oh, and one last thing: If you’re going to take on Apple with a new advertising campaign, it’s probably not wise to make those ads on Macs


UPDATE: The new ads are live on YouTube.