updated 07:45 am EDT, Thu August 21, 2008
Seinfeld in MS Vista Ads
Microsoft is enlisting celebrity talent and its own co-founder to kick off a campaign to mend Windows Vista's reputation, the Wall Street Journal said Thursday. The newspaper claims to know insiders who say the company has paid Jerry Seinfeld $10 million to appear alongside Bill Gates in Microsoft's widely publicized "edgy" TV ad campaign and will allegedly stress the concept of "Windows not Walls," removing barriers to communication with the operating system.
The ads would start September 4th and would be part of "one of the largest" ad campaigns Microsoft has ever launched, the paper claims. Microsoft is known to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to promote Vista and is again said to have rejected its long-time ad agency McCann Erickson in favor of Crispin Porter + Bogusky to take a different approach to its marketing.
Microsoft's TV campaign would take a non-confrontational approach but is widely seen as an attempt to counter Apple's "Get a Mac" ads, which the Windows developer has already said are hijacking Vista's perception in the public eye and pushing some customers to either use Macs or hold to Windows XP for fear of perceived flaws. Apple's computer sales jumped 41 percent year-over-year in the spring quarter and have led to particularly high sales in the US, where Apple's market share climbed from 6.2 percent in spring 2007 to an estimated 7.8 percent for the same season in 2008.
Neither Microsoft nor its ad partner have commented on the rumored nature of the campaign.