I don’t know if they’re actually airing these adverts Stateside, or whether they’re a web-only phenomenon for the moment, but Penny Arcade drew my attention to them today. Colour me unimpressed. If the intention was to shake off Vista’s sales blues, or to generally ‘connect’ with the wider consumer in a way that Apple does so well but Microsoft almost never does, but I’d have to classify this effort as a failure of sizable proportions.
Maybe it’s me; maybe I just don’t ‘get’ Seinfeld-style humour, or maybe it’s that Bill Gates really doesn’t remotely inspire or entertain me (making skiploads of cash every nanosecond might inspire some people to revere him, but not me). From my perspective though this is a fairly poor attempt at deadpan humour which leaves me with an impression of Gates being even more of an arrogant but incredibly dull grey suit than I thought before. Worse - it seems his thinking is that acting like a dull grey suit in wacky surroundings will somehow make him endearing and amusing, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s equivalent to your Uncle Henry who, despite bearing an unnatural affinity with tweed, thinks he can transform into John Travolta when he hits the wedding reception dance floor. Deeply painful to watch.
Tip to Microsoft - if you want endearing consumer-friendly ads, write Gates out of the script next time, he’s a dead weight.
*edit: I know this is old news but I’m behind a little, very busy lately!