Bill Gates and Code Complete

By now I'm sure you've at least heard of, if not already seen, the new Windows Vista advertisements featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. They haven't been well received, to put it mildly, but the latest commercial is actually not bad in its longer 4 minute version:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Wow, nice catch!

Actually, I liked that last ad. Not sure about the rest. I don’t think they deserve to get this bashing, though. The humor is rather dry, but I like the feel of it I guess. And I’m a Mac guy :wink:

It is not possible to make a good ad with BG and JS in it.

If you really like them then I think you have some serious soul searching to do…


I really like them, it’s like mini seinfelds. Where do I sign up for the soul searching? Will there be cake?

My assumption was that the Seinfeld ads were supposed to make Microsoft look a little more approachable—less like the out of touch megacorp that it has come to resemble. Humanizing them with Seinfeld and Gates doing dorky stuff makes them look personable and quirky.

I’m not sure it worked. But $5 says that was the intention.

At first I was stumped by the ads. Then as they progressed, I started to get it. They aren’t bad, but they are slow to make a point.

I like the WHG III luggage. The girl putting the giraffe in the bag could be equated to a Mac/Linux/Unix user, trying anything to make Microsoft go away. Which happened. In my opinion, that says that Microsoft knows that they won’t please everyone, but they are going to try and understand the needs of the common people more and not just corporate people.

And yes, I own a Mac. And it runs Vista. I’ll always support both companies for what they offer me for my needs.

As for the book, I too was wondering what that was! Now I know! Thanks, Jeff, for enlightening me!

This is so ironic given that my plan is to buy that book on the way home from work today, seeing as how I’ve never read it and Stack Overflow has above and beyond labeled it the #1 book you must read.

Funny you should mention Seinfeld being someone who was famous 10 years ago… my first impression on hearing the new I’m a PC ad from Microsoft was Hey, they’re finally doing a kind of parody of those 10-year-old Mac ads! It turns out that the Long/Hodgman I’m a Mac ads are only two and a half years old (U.S. release May 2006, according to Wikipedia), but still, I wonder if Microsoft’s ad department is expecting accolades for doing something now that they should have done two years ago. At this point, I think they’d have been better off ignoring the Mac ads.

I don’t see why the Seinfeld ads would have gotten negative reviews, though. I thought they were kind of pointless, but I’d rather watch two bumbling white guys try on shoes than the latest beer or car commercial any day. (Well, I guess I do agree that Look! We can afford rich people to shill for us! is a stupid and unattractive way to sell a product, especially during a recession; but, on the other hand, it seems to be working for American Express.)

That detail makes the ad priceless :slight_smile:

I do like these commercials; it’s entertaining and has nothing to do with the product - even distances the man associated with it from society in the we need to live with real people line. Yet it’s one of the few commercials I’ll bring up in a conversation.

My only hope is that they remove those stupid Windows Mojave commercials… anyone with half a brain knows those and the fake restaurant commercials are total BS. The restaurants may be supplied by fast food chains, but I seriously doubt the attention and time they put into making those meals is anything like what I’ve experienced from their actual restaurants. Same goes for the mojave commercials; I seriously doubt any of those people knew anything about Vista and were wow’d by a new skin or graphic setup Microsoft used to disguise it.

Note: my problem is with those COMMERCIALS, not the products.

Of course people hate it. I doubt Microsoft could do anything that people wouldn’t hate - such is how cool it is to hate Microsoft.

The ads are hysterical and don’t make me change the channel, unlike Apple’s condescending offerings and coffee-shop hipster image.

Water is still wet, the sky is still blue and i still love my wife.

speaking of die hard, actually The Last Boyscout, but … still the same movie, different names. and a quote from this article… the circle of life i guess

Actually, I liked that ads. Microsoft has also quashed the idea that the Bill Gates/Sienfeld ad campaign has been canceled…

They stated from the begining that it would be an evolving ad campaign with the first part simply there to get our attention. Guess what, it worked.

Beep beep!

I thought I was the only one, who made that assertion. I watched it, and my friends in office, thought I was crazy. I almost jumped out of my chair, they used code complete, awesome.

The office mates replied, whats that, to which I banished them from my office, to do a google search of their query.

It’s a commercial about nothing!!

Seriously though, the goal of advertising is to get people talking about it is wrong. Well, misleading I suppose, which is nothing new to advertising. The goal of advertising is to make more money selling stuff, by getting more people to buy your stuff. The goal of emadvertising companies/em on the other hand, is to make more money selling emads./em For this reason, they want you to talk about the business of advertising, that ad, and what they were thinking when they made it.

Dudes, you forgot that Justin Long was in very NOT forgettable Idiocracy. I heard about Idiocracy the first time right here on Coding Horror ( I loved Justin’s character.

+1 for fans of the ads. I have really been surprised that so many of the people I know detest them so vehemently. How was the Seinfeld show such a success, but now all of a sudden, nobody seems to get that style of humor?

Steve Jobs was quoted (somewhere I can’t remember) as saying that the I’m a Mac / I’m a PC ads work because PC is the more likable of the two. It was expected that you would like Hodgman better than the other guy.