updated 07:55 am EDT, Fri September 5, 2008
MS Comments on First Ad
The first Seinfeld ad that aired Thursday evening is just an "icebreaker" that will be backed by more substantive ads in the near future, Microsoft senior VP Bill Veghte has said in a company-wide e-mail leaked to TechCrunch. Indirectly addressing concerns that the spot doesn't immediately either promote Windows or criticize rivals, Veghte explains that the 1:30 spot is just part of a "first phase" meant to refamiliarize viewers with Microsoft rather than a direct promotion.
The ads "reintroduce Microsoft to viewers in a consumer context," the e-mail reads. "Later this month, as the campaign moves into its next phase, we'll go much deeper in telling the Windows story."
The Microsoft executive's message also characterizes the campaign as positive, saying that the TV ads will "celebrate" Windows' features and that the guiding tone will involve "humor and humanity."
Veghte's response nonetheless confirms the ultimate goal of attempting to reclaim a positive public impression after what his company believes is an attempt by Apple to undermine Windows Vista and control the public's impressions of the operating system. Microsoft has previously acknowledged that Vista encountered a rough launch but has maintained in recent months that Service Pack 1 and subsequent updates have eliminated many of the initial complaints, meriting a second look.
The Washington state-based developer's most direct video campaign to date has been an online-only series, nicknamed the Mojave Experiment, which claims to have shown Vista as much better than its negative public reputation. Critics have charged that Mojave is a controlled environment that doesn't address the long-term problems with Vista.