Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s new work for Microsoft is on the air and being written about by The Wall Street Journal, among others.
The Journal found someone to bash it:

“Despite this attempt to be cool, the commercial does nothing to change Microsoft’s brand image, says Leslie Smolan, chief strategy officer at Carbone Smolan Agency, a New York-based branding firm.
“It’s big, it’s got deep pockets — certainly deep enough to buy any celebrity it wants,” Ms. Smolan said. “What it doesn’t have is creativity, the key ingredient Microsoft has always lacked.”

TechCrunch went another way and obtained an internal email from Microsoft SVP, Bill Veghte, about the commercial.

Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows – a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity.
Think of these ads as an icebreaker to reintroduce Microsoft to viewers in a consumer context. Later this month, as the campaign moves into its next phase, we’ll go much deeper in telling the Windows story and celebrating what it can do for consumers at work, at play and on-the-go.

My thought is the frat boys in Boulder snuck their patented collegiate humor in at the end, by getting the richest man in the world to “adjust his shorts.” That must be the “humanity” Veghte is talking about.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. just wait … just WAIT … JUST WAIT ‘TIL YOU SEE WHAT’S COMING!!! always the carrot, which somehow turns into a shriveled, bug-infested turnip.
    i’ll bet in the next spot, they make bill say “word” (as in MS Word), which he unknowingly utters within earshot of a group of “streetwise youth,” who nod approvingly.

  2. they call him flipper says:

    the foot fetish and phallic humor… what were they munching on from the mall?
    Note Jerry wearing the sports shoes.
    pump iron or push water and not will build big shoulders for a bigger build, Bill, or at least ones that are wider than your bottom half. Geeks can be fit, too. Didn’t i see a picture of bill and melinda as spectoators in beijing. Badmitton? Oh, don’t make me go there, again?
    C’mon bill, I suspect by the end of this campaign we are going to see you doing some kind of fete of feats with cheaper than Nike shoes on your feat.
    It may turn into a feet journal, huh? Predictable.

  3. @td – thanks to the image you just created, the phrase “word” will never be the same for me

  4. Man, I’m just not seeing it. I like that they are going opposite the Mac/PC ads of Apple by trying to put skin on their monolithic image, but the execution is just so weak.

  5. Mark Trueblood says:

    We would be howling “foul” much worse if Microsoft were trying to be like Apple. Clearly they’re not trying to win over Mac zealots. Not sure they ever could. I think they’re trying to improve their image for a mainstream audience.

  6. nancy ( finishing my statement) says:

    pundits/ analysers/companies cannot compare apple to microsoft well. Well, maybe the image comparison is viable on some level, but other than that. the comparison has always been stupid. It has been worse than apples to oranges. It is like apples to broccoli. And everyone who has any taste knows apples and broccoli isn’t in any taste comparison.
    Even worse is to compare steve to Bill. Bill’s head is all techno and software. He said so last year at the jobs/gates interview. Steve’s head is not software. Steve’s head is usage.
    Bill comes off as a nice guy here. And I sure he is. Most people are at least 50% of the time. He has a bit of problems with communication and that’s okay. He has strengths in other areas.
    I think this was just a marriage of the two opposites on a company scale to see what would happen. I think Microsoft and Bill have enough money just to play with things like that. To each his own system of operation, I guess.

  7. @Mark – you are correct, sir. Such mimicry would receive the same dismissal as the Zune.
    My feeling is that these spots were developed to connect with the non-Macophile who sees Apple as an elitist brand. It’s a defensive, not offensive play to prevent any further market attrition.
    That said, the campaign could be a success if MS would uncuff CP+B. (i’m assuming, of course, that CP+B is being restrained. That’s the only reason I can find for the “Churro” disaster.)

  8. Carl La Fong says:

    I guess it’s true: Larry David really was the funny one.
    Larry David after “Seinfeld”: six seasons of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
    Jerry Seinfeld after “Seinfeld”: “Bee Movie,” those annoying “Bee Movie” promos on NBC — and now this.
    While the teaser doesn’t leave me eager to see more, it does make me hungry for a churro.