The second instalment of the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld video, promoting Windows Vista has just been released. The series of videos are designed to help counteract Apple’s Mac bashing PC videos, which have received much praise in recent times. Microsoft has remained fairly silent in response to Apple’s video campaign, until now that is.
Microsoft have enlisted the help of the American comedian, Jerry Seinfeld for their videos. There’s something in common with the humour of the Microsoft ad campaign and with the American comedy, Arrested Development. I wasn’t sure about the first video release, but the second one above is fantastic. See below for the first ad.
So where’s the relevance? Well, Microsoft are doing something both interesting and exciting with these videos. The ‘Bill and Jerry’ effect is causing a lot of discussion within the blogosphere. There’s almost a Marmite like quality to the discussion – You either love the videos, or you you hate them. They have created, what Seth Godin describes as a ‘Meatball Sundae’
"A meatball sundae is the unfortunate result of mixing two good ideas. The meatballs are the foundation, the things we need (and sometimes want). These are the commodities that so many businesses are built on. The sundae toppings (hot fudge and the like) are the New Marketing, the social networks, Google, blogs and fancy stuff that make people all excited".
If Bill and Jerry are the foundation ‘Meatballs’. The ‘Sundae’ surely is how the videos are going viral. Microsoft has aided this by creating a YouTube page to help the masses watch the videos and more importantly, to help bloggers embed them! The point here is that the videos are memorable, people are talking about them whether they like them or not. The videos provoke a discussion. So far, there’s been no mention of Windows Vista which I feel is deliberate.
It is too early to tell whether these series of videos will be successful in changing the public feeling of Windows Vista. But, used as a tool to start a conversation about Microsoft and to continue that conversation, these ads are creating the perfect meatball sundae.