August 21st 2008
By Mike Flaminio
Wall Street Journal claims that Microsoft has or will hire Jerry Seinfeld to act its spokesman for a new $300-million ad campaign that will launch on Sept 4. Further, the comedian will take home $10-million for his role and appear alongside former CEO Bill Gates.
"They are not seen as cool," says Robert Passikoff, president, Brand Keys, a New York branding firm. "Apple is cool. Can anyone even recall a Microsoft ad? No."
The software giant's new advertising campaign, devised by a newly hired ad agency, has been closely guarded, but will use some variation of the slogan "Windows, Not Walls" and stress breaking down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting.
The move comes in response to Apple's growing share of the computer market in recent years, creditable to a degree to the company's popular I'm a Mac series of ads featuring stodgy John Hodgman (PC) and hipster Justin Long (Mac).
Editor's note: Is Seinfeld still cool? Is his brand of snarky sarcasm what Microsoft needs to regain its footing?
Vista's poor quality and lack of meaningful features are the source Microsoft's problems, not the lack of slick pitch man.
I guess they're hoping the tail can wag the dog...
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