Ad wars: Microsoft takes a bite out of Apple; Hires comedian Jerry Seinfeld to promote Vista

August 23, 2008

jerry_seinfeld.jpgTired of taking the beating from Apple in its Mac vs. PC commercials, Microsoft has decided to put on the gloves and fight back. The ad campaign is being created by MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft, the software giant, has a new 300 million dollar advertising campaign and it has hired comedian Jerry Seinfeld to help it take a bite out of Apple. The commercials theme will be “Windows, not Walls” a dig at Apple’s closed environment. At the moment, not too much is known about what the commercials will involve since Microsoft is keeping this information closely guarded. Seinfeld will be appearing alongside Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in the upcoming ads and he will be paid $10 million dollars for the work. It will be interesting to see what the ads involve.

Seinfeld is an interesting choice for the upcoming commercials, Jerry Seinfeld had an extremely popular show named Seinfeld in the 90′s. The show originally aired from July 5, 1989 to May 14, 1998. According to the Arthur Nielsen Media Research Ratings it finished among the top two every year from 1994 to 1998. I think I’ve seen every episode of Seinfeld and one thing that was seen in the far corner of Seinfeld’s apartment was a Macintosh computer. Over the years, it got upgraded to a newer Mac. In fact, at one point during the series he even had a 20th anniversary Mac on his desktop.

Seinfeld also appeared in Apple’s Think Big commercials. It sort of makes you wonder if Microsoft knew this before hiring him. Perhaps the angle they are going for is views from a Mac switcher? Then again John Hodgman, the man who plays PC in the Apple commercials, is an Apple user. Hodgman spilled the beans to the New York Daily News a few months ago.

Although Microsoft has sold more than 180 million Vista licenses since its release in 2007. Critics claim that it still continues to suffer largely due in part to the perception that its release was a flap. Apple’s commercials which constantly poke fun at Vista just ads fuel to the fire. Microsoft has said that the early problems many experienced with the operating system has been resolved.

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft will unveil with the upcoming ads. One of the reasons that the Apple ads have been so popular is that Apple has pointed out the flaws that we as computer owners occasionally experience. I really liked the fact that Apple focused on that the computer can be the problem, not the owner. A lot of Apple’s ads have focused on Vista.

It’s not surprising that Microsoft has finally decided to target Apple in its upcoming campaign. Apple’s recent success has been phenomenal and even though Microsoft is still the reigning champ I imagine Apple’s success along with the Mac vs. Pc commercials aren’t so funny anymore. So when will the ads appear? WSJ reports that we can expect to see them in early September. WSJ also stated that Chris Rock and Will Ferrel (Ferrel starred in Mac switcher ads years ago) might also appear in some of the ads.

BLORGE writer, John Lister, has covered this on

Be Sociable, Share!

5 Responses to “Ad wars: Microsoft takes a bite out of Apple; Hires comedian Jerry Seinfeld to promote Vista”

  1. David Gerard:

    There’s an obvious comedian Microsoft should have used …

  2. Ken:

    Apple has gone from minuscule to small. Unless Apple decides to unwisely get into the enterprise market, they will remain a minor annoyance to Microsoft. The limited hardware choices Apple offers to keep it’s margins high ensures it. MS has no hardware sales to worry about.

    That’s not to say the products aren’t good or have no value. Apple makes nice products.

    It’s interesting to see when the Apple loving press is beating up Vista, it always the total market. If it is a Macbook article it gets the Apple is 2nd or third with 20% and just passed HP treatment. I suppose that sounds better than 80% of purchasers didn’t want an Apple or OSX.

    You see this kind of inaccurate reporting in this blog site continually where Apple has taken the lead in educational sales with the largest single vendor sales but is still not even a quarter of the machines running other OSes.

  3. Opal Tribble:

    I was going to say isn’t he dead? Then I read the article. That’s an interesting spin. ;-) Thanks for posting it.

    You got a point it does sound a lot better than the other way and I know that is why it is done.

    I think one of the reasons Apple does well with the education market because they do offer some very attractive packages for schools. I volunteer as a mentor for one school, and they use Apple computers. One of my aunts teaches in Florida, and she said the entire county uses Apple in the public school system.

    I think it will take some time (if ever) for Apple to compete with Microsoft. Then again I always have gotten the impression that they weren’t trying to do that although I have to admit the Mac vs. PC ads made me rethink that.

    I really cannot say too much about Vista. I haven’t tried it so won’t give my personal opinion about it. However, I am thinking of purchasing it for one of my Windows computer. I’m pursuing another degree so I do believe I can get a student discount.

    As much as I like most of Apple’s products I realize, as with any other system, it does have its flaws.

  4. Ken:

    Apple basically gave computers to schools back in the 80′s trying to lock in the market and get little Sue and Johnny using Apple IIs so when it came time for the family to buy one the kids would want an Apple.

    Nothing wrong with that, smart business. They were a loss leader for them. I know this because I was a sales rep for another company back then and bid on the same school projects. After Computerland got their cut, it had to be a loser for Apple.

    Jobs and Woz were footing the bill for free concerts and hot air balloons races back then, so cash flow had to be good. The company I was working for back then had a 30-40% margin built in.

    I live in SE Florida and have worked with Broward and Miami Dade districts. The infrastructure machines and labs are PC’s. Ft Lauderdale has approximately 230 schools. It’s an Enterprise business.

    Apple isn’t talking about those machines when they talk about being the the leader in education laptops, they are referring to what students and staff are buying for themselves using the student/faculty discounts versus ones from other companies.

    It’s like the reporting on the 66% share of the $1000 and up market a few months back. That was the retail market and not the total market. Dell, HP and others selling directly to the customer aren’t part of that. Dells sells a lot of them ‘puters in that price, to businesses and consumers and almost zero in Best Buy and the like. Very few of the articles I read put that in.

    Apple makes very nice products. Jobs and the gang richly deserve all the praise and awards they are getting.

    Accuracy and clarity from the media won’t change that.

  5. In your face, Apple! - MAC.BLORGE:

    [...] all puzzled over Microsoft’s Gates and Seinfeld ads and heard about the software giant’s spurious Apple Tax, which posits buying a Mac is a [...]

Leave a Reply:


Copyright © 2014 NS