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Aug 21, 2008

Microsoft Ad Team: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

What is the deal…with Seinfeld as a pitchman for Microsoft?

MG Siegler

I can hear it now: What is the deal with Apple? They don’t sell Apples. Why call themselves that? … Yes, ladies and gentleman, Jerry Seinfeld is Microsoft’s new pitchman.

Microsoft is still being very secretive about its new $300 million advertising campaign that it plans to unleash shortly, but Seinfeld will play a key role in it, the Wall Street Journal has learned. He apparently will appear in commercials alongside the recently retired (but apparently not-so-retired) Bill Gates. And he’ll supposedly earn $10 million for his troubles.

Microsoft Ad Team: We'll Sell Vista, But We're Using Macs

mac-and-pc.jpgMicrosoft has hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad industry's hottest shop, to improve its battered image. So what's their plan?

Step 1: A weird candid camera commercial. Step 2: Paying Jerry Seinfeld $10 million. Step 3: Convincing its own staff to use Microsoft products instead of Apple's. From Fast Company's Crispin Porter profile earlier this year:

In April 2007, long before the Microsoft account came Crispin's way, Bogusky had told me that"Crispin sort of exists because of the revolution in desktop publishing that the Mac brought about. You could be a small shop and compete against Madison Avenue for the first time because all the tools were in your computer." That may explain why Keller and Reilly are today using their team as an early focus group for learning how to persuade Mac lovers to embrace Windows. "You've got a lot of passionate Mac people in here, and they've got to get their head around this thing -- why Windows is genius," says Keller. He and Reilly have outfitted their shared office (inherited from Bogusky) with an Xbox 360, which they've been using as a wireless hub. But their joint desk also holds two ultrathin MacBook Airs. When I ask if they're making their team get rid of their iPods and PowerBooks, Reilly responds, "It's not a matter of forcing people. It's getting them to want to use it. If you can't, you're not going to do great advertising."

See Also: Microsoft Hires Seinfeld To Make It Cool. But Is Seinfeld Still Cool?

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