VIDEO: Microsoft’s answer to “Get a Mac” — did Bill Gates just wiggle his butt at me?

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I want you to watch this video before we continue…

Did you watch it? Ok…SO…let’s talk about THAT. I’m not real sure I’m ever going to be able to forgive my good buddy Dr. Macenstein for sending me that link.

Microsoft has launched a $300 Million dollar ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld to combat the popular “Get a Mac” ads that spend a large portion of their time bad mouthing Vista.

These new ads are designed to be funny, and make Microsoft more hip. The ad you just watched is the first ad of this new campaign. After watching it, I literally found myself staring at my screen wonder what in the heck just happened.

For those of you that can’t watch the video for some reason Jerry Seinfeld is walking through a mall, when he sees Bill Gates buying shoes at “Shoe Carnival”. Sensing that The Gates needed help that the shoe salesman could not provide, Jerry runs into the store and begins to take over the shoe selection process. He suggests that Bill consider showering with clothes on, then follows Bill to the check out.

At the check out Bill uses his Shoe Carnival club card (which features a picture of a very young Bill on it), then the two exit the mall together. On the way out Seinfeld asks if Microsoft is ever going to develop something that will turn computers into cake. He asks Bill to “adjust his shorts” if the answer is yes…then we see a medium shot of both of their rears as Bill does some sort of bizarre hoola-hoop butt wiggle.

This is a commercial that will go down in history. This has to be one of the worst commercials I’ve ever seen. I don’t have any idea what they’re trying to tell me with this ad. I don’t think it was funny, and if they were going for “Burger King” levels of bizarre they definitely hit them – but not in a good way.

I can’t imagine a worse way to start off this campaign. The ad doesn’t make Microsoft look hip and funny – it makes Microsoft look like they WANT to look hip and funny, but don’t know how. Jerry Seinfeld is a guy who USED to be one of the most popular comedians in the world. His series was a huge hit and was adored by millions of people – if this ad had been running fifteen years ago, maybe it would have made Microsoft look hip…but this just makes Microsoft look old and out of touch – again.

Also – kinda creepy.

What did you think?

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

19 thoughts on “VIDEO: Microsoft’s answer to “Get a Mac” — did Bill Gates just wiggle his butt at me?

  1. That’s just too out there, what up, does Gates want to become a Comedian? Check out his speech to the Mellon Carnigie Univercity, he shows a video of his last day as CEO (fulltime) of Microsoft. But saying that, has anybody noticed how Gates sounds remarkably like Kermit the frog!

  2. I wish they would pay ME $300 Million. I couldn’t do worse!

    What a total waste of bandwidth. In a word;’ “Frumpy”.

    And I’m sure Melinda buys Bill’s shoes for him.

  3. You have to give credit to the advert for its honesty: it perfectly conveys the ‘Old and Busted’ feeling that is now associated with both Bill and Jerry.

    Had it actually been hip in any way, the universe would probably have imploded.

  4. I guess I found myself staring at my MBP screen in a very similar way than you probably did… Sorry, I can’t find any appropriate, or for that matter, even inappropriate words to describe my perception of this.

  5. I had the same reaction when I first saw it, and just stared at the screen wondering what this had to do with Microsoft. But as I thought about it a bit more, I realized that the message defined Microsoft perfectly – trying to make you believe in something after the fact like they did with Vista.

    I mean, here they are trying to show Bill as a down-to-earth kind of guy, but who really cares at this point. He’s only a part-time employee now. So wanting us to form an attachment to someone who’s not running the ship and isn’t even responsible for the products that get shipped, makes no sense.

    I would’ve been much more impressed by an ad that poked fun at themselves but ended with a message that they’re actually trying to make changes for the better. Though, they’d need to back that up with their next product launch.

  6. This clip is bizar. I think when they are clever enough – everything is planed in this clip. Because the clip is that bad everybody is talking about. Anyway – the clip is a crap one but perhaps thats the strategy. Also, MS has a big problem creating a good clip. They can’t be too geeky or too cool because this would not fit and would like a rip off of the Mac ads. So they tried to make something completly different and at the end of all the no-goes this clip was born.

  7. I had similar reactions to it. It didn’t sell Microsoft or Vista at all, nor did it combat any of the “Get a Mac” ads. It was just plain stupid. It actually made me start to think that maybe Seinfeld is NOT as funny as I thought he was. A friend of mine sent me an email about this as well – his take was that Bill just always wanted to be in an episode of Seinfeld, so he used part of his billions to do it.

    They’ve got two MEGA rich guys in this commercial. Maybe eating Churros, showering in your clothes, bargain shoe places and wiggling your butt is funny to MEGA rich people. But for the larger portion of the population that is NOT MEGA rich, we just didn’t get it. I think the shot of the family watching them through the store window in disbelief probably looked like me staring at the his fiasco of a commercial last night. But then again, they were probably not MEGA rich either, so maybe they weren’t getting the humor of it all. It sure felt in the end that Bill, Jerry and MS were out of touch.

    I can see where this is headed through the series of commercials. Next Billy will bring Jerry back to MS-HQ and show him all of the wonderful features of Vista that Jerry didn’t know existed. There will be lots of shots of Jerry shaking his head in amazement, while Billy drones on. The funny commercial missed the mark, the technical commercials will just be a complete and total bore-fest.

  8. I still think it was broadcast by mistake. NO ONE could possibly have thought that was funny, informative, or anything other than sadly confusing. To quote the immortal Calculon from Futurama: “That was so bad I think you gave me cancer!”

  9. The metaphors were so obvious! Duh.

    The shoes were Vista. The fact that the sizing was “tight” symbolizes how Vista’s nominal system requirements were divorced from reality.

    When Jerry forcibly bent the shoes repeatedly, he was alluding to the work you are going to have to do to make your Windows box usable. It’s hard and repetitive work, and alternative products don’t require it at all. Mac OS X is like a well-made pair of Nikes that you’d buy from a Nike Store — good to go out of the box.

    Then, Jerry’s vaguely homosexual query about Gates’ showering routine refers to the contrived mind-bending users are going to have to do to like using Vista. Enjoying Vista is like showering with your clothes on: on first blush, Jerry’s logic of the efficiency of showering with your clothes on seems to make sense until critical thinking (or a real-world attempt) shows you have a very bad result — you have wet clothes and your skin is still dirty. Microsoft insists that you need to learn to love UAC.

    Finally, the computers-as-cake segment illustrates how Microsoft is pursuing research that is sweet but empty instead of making computers more nutritious and fulfilling, so to speak.

    Keep in mind that Gates has retired from Microsoft and may not be happy with the company’s success in his absence. I wouldn’t be surprised if this commercial wasn’t a subtle “F-U” to Microsoft.

    I guess I’m going to have to come back to explain the next one to you when it shows up. If I must, I must.

  10. It was painful watching a multi-billionaire and a comedic icon suck that badly. Wait, was that what the churros are supposed to symbolize? Jerry Seinfeld down on one knee locking eyes with Gates was real ‘man humor’ too.

  11. I react quite negatively to all things Microsoft as it is, but Bill Gates wriggling his butt?!- I can’t think of a worse way to “tease” with an ad campaign. Surely, Seinfeld must’ve thought, and asked, “are you guys serious about this?”

    Maybe not- doesn’t he have enough money?

  12. Uhm, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think that commercials are supposed to get people think hard before they able to understand them, nor are they meant for a very specific audience of people who are able to understand them.

  13. The sight of Bill wiggling his butt is something I do not want flashing through my head. Make it stop. I’d better go watch the Apple cheerleader commercial to clear my head.

  14. i would i agree with the first post by wtfwasthat. come on mac people are so used to all those fashionable and shocking has never been hip and is not trying to be, and that is what the ad underlines..its not trendy and down to earth

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