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Jerry Seinfeld Will Plug Vista 776

Posted by timothy
from the for-all-that-is-good-stop-sending-this-one dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft has signed up comedian Jerry Seinfeld to its $300 million Vista PR blitz, as it attempts to turn around the negative perception surrounding its operating system. Reports suggest Bill Gates will also appear in the ads, which, given the comedy timing he displayed in his 'Bill's Last Day' video, and the deadpan manner of Seinfeld, could result in a huge hit for the company." Reader Zarmanto notes in his journal that "Mac users might be quite amused, considering that (like many other TV shows) the set of Seinfeld always had a Macintosh prominently displayed in the background."
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Jerry Seinfeld Will Plug Vista

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  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:24PM (#24695821) Journal

    "Mac users might be quite amused, considering that (like many other TV shows) the set of Seinfeld always had a Macintosh prominently displayed in the background."

    Yes. And after a long hard days filming, the stars of the show would all use that computer to surf the net and read Slashdot, because that's the kind of introverted computer nerds they were.

  • Out of touch much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sokoban (142301) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:25PM (#24695845) Homepage

    So, this could either be a great move on MS's part or an illustration of how woefully out of touch with popular culture they are. Seinfeld hasn't been on the air in over 10 years at this point (new episodes at least).

  • Don't Care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trojan35 (910785) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:28PM (#24695875)

    "Mac users might be quite amused, considering that (like many other TV shows) the set of Seinfeld always had a Macintosh prominently displayed in the background."

    Just an FYI, mac users are pretty similar to PC users. Most of us just don't care.

    • Re:Don't Care (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jerry Coffin (824726) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:42PM (#24696119)

      Just an FYI, mac users are pretty similar to PC users. Most of us just don't care.

      They should care -- they pay for that. Macs don't show up by accident -- they show up because Apple pays for them to show up. When you buy a Mac, part of what you pay goes for Apple to buy product placements.

      Just FWIW, the last time I checked Apple had the largest product placement budget of any computer maker I could find. At least at that time, HP had something like 10 times the computer sales, but less than one third the product placement budget.

      Personally, I think this is true genius on the part of Apple. I'm convinced that product placements probably have a better payoff than almost any other sort of advertising. I think that's particularly true when/if a large part of what you're selling is a style or image.

      • Re:Don't Care (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slasTIGERhd ... ee.com minus cat> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:57PM (#24696385) Homepage

        Well, that and the fact macs are more common among people working in creative industries, so the people building the sets and such are more likely to have macs available to them.

      • [Citation needed] (Score:5, Informative)

        by Foerstner (931398) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:00PM (#24696435)

        They should care -- they pay for that. Macs don't show up by accident -- they show up because Apple pays for them to show up. When you buy a Mac, part of what you pay goes for Apple to buy product placements.

        Just FWIW, the last time I checked Apple had the largest product placement budget of any computer maker I could find. At least at that time, HP had something like 10 times the computer sales, but less than one third the product placement budget.
        Source, please.

        As far as I can tell, Apple's product placement "budget" consists largely of making flashy-looking hardware that style-conscious Hollywood set designers want to use. They officially deny paying anything for placement. [slashdot.org]

        (I have heard that they give away freebies, though. Supposedly that's how the Macintosh Plus got into the Scotty scene in Star Trek IV)

        • [Citation] (Score:5, Informative)

          by Foerstner (931398) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:02PM (#24696485)

          Sorry, my cat brushed the keyboard as I was hitting submit. The actual link is:
          http://www.usatoday.com/tech/techinvestor/industry/2007-03-08-apple-marketing_N.htm [usatoday.com]

          • Re:[Citation] (Score:5, Informative)

            by manekineko2 (1052430) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @11:34PM (#24700761)

            I don't understand, how is this supporting what you said, and how did you get double 5 informatives? Is this a joke you're playing to point out how eager Apple fans are to mod up anything that's positive on Apple (whether or not it's true and without reading the supposed evidence)? If so, you've succeeded quite admirably.

            From your article, which says nothing about Apple officially denying paying for product placements:

            Marketing guru Peter Sealey, a professor at Claremont Graduate University, calls the charismatic Jobs "the best marketing CEO in the business." USA TODAY spoke to professors such as Sealey, authors and former Apple marketing executives, asking what other companies could learn from the Apple marketing manual: ...

            *Work the taste-makers. Out of necessity, with a tiny and then declining market share for computers, Apple had to work harder to get its products in front of the public. In the past few years, it has aggressively set up Apple retail stores in metropolitan areas. Apple has also been very PR-centric, says Cruikshank, pushing to get its products reviewed and used as product placement in movies and TV shows.

            In The Apple Way, Cruikshank writes that Apple computers have appeared on screen more than 1,500 times in the past 20 years on TV shows and movies including 24, Sex and the City, Seinfeld and You've Got Mail.

            "More than half of all computer product placement during this time was from Apple, at a time when its market share was just 3%," Cruikshank says.

      • Re:Don't Care (Score:4, Insightful)

        by node 3 (115640) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:01PM (#24696457)

        Just FWIW, the last time I checked Apple had the largest product placement budget of any computer maker I could find.

        Actually, Apple doesn't pay for product placement. There are a few notable exceptions, like ID4 and MI which were more involved than mere product placement and were really cross-marketing.

        The reason you see so many Macs on TV and in films is because they tend to look good. iPods get shown because that's what people have (do you really think a show wants to alienate/confuse its viewers by talking about an iRiver?).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mcsqueak (1043736)

          One of my favorite Mac placements has always been in the Russian action/horror movie Night Watch, where the iMacs all had carefully placed yellow post-it notes covering the telltale "Apple" logo on the back of the monitor.

          It always makes me chuckle because who would really stick a post-it on the back of their monitor? They already used so many digital effects in the movie it seems like it would have just been less tacky to digitally remove the Apple logo for that one quick scene.

      • Re:Don't Care (Score:4, Informative)

        by pammon (831694) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:38PM (#24697043)
        Apple may make an effort to get their products on the screen, but they say they never actually pay for product placement [washingtonpost.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nebu (566313)

        Just an FYI, mac users are pretty similar to PC users. Most of us just don't care.

        They should care -- they pay for that

        I think you are conflating two different usages of the phrase "they pay for that". One usage means "They are giving money, with the intent that this money be used for such and such a purpose". Another usage means "They are giving money, and it just so happened that the manner in which the money was used is such and such". Most people who are buying Macs are probably not handing over a thousand bucks, in exchange for having Macs used in product placement. Rather, they are spending over a thousand bucks to bu

  • by svvampy (576225) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:28PM (#24695879)
    Have they realized Vista is an O/S about nothing?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)

      Vista is Latvian for chicken. A comedian with a chicken is as old as comedy...

  • by Syncerus (213609) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:29PM (#24695901)

    with my .45.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:30PM (#24695917)

    Instead of paying already rich celebrities to pimp out Vista, how about invest that $300 million into developing a SP2 that fixes the damn thing already.

    • by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:33PM (#24695963) Journal

      Because it would cost much more than that to fix the damn thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheSeer2 (949925)

      And what would fixing "the damn thing" involve? I'm a late adopter to Vista (post-SP1) and ... well... it works fine. No incompatibility issues (literally, not a damn single one), no BSODs (ditto)... blah!

  • Oh, sweet irony! (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrazyTalk (662055) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:31PM (#24695929)
    Since Seinfeld always had a Mac on his desk in his show. In fact, if you look closely he had the latest model new Mac every year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sockatume (732728)
      On a related note, I often attempt to date unfamiliar movies and TV shows by the Macs they feature. It's quite effective. :)
  • It won't work. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:32PM (#24695951) Homepage

    Vista has established a reputation as "the operating system you don't want". People hate it. People that haven't tried it hate it. Some people sit around and worry that someday someone will make them upgrade to Vista. An ad campaign simply can't compete with people talking to others about how much they hate Vista.

    It's funny, but I've never heard people openly talk about how much they hate a Microsoft product before. Personally I think Microsoft has made a LOT crappier products than Vista. Outlook, IE6, and Exchange are a lot worse than Vista.

    • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:38PM (#24696049)

      Vista has established a reputation as "the operating system you don't want". People hate it. People that haven't tried it hate it.

      Seinfeld will fit right in.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DriedClexler (814907)

      But ... but ... what about the stacked, unscientific Mojave project, that conclusively proved that people like Vista if they actually give it a chance?

    • Re:It won't work. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrroot (543673) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:59PM (#24696413)
      I agree, many people have a vague dislike for Vista. I think it has to do in part with allowing Apple to be the one to tell consumers about Vista. And not surprisingly they did not paint it in a good light. I run Vista and it is not _horrible_, but a few of the big problems I have with it are: 1. Drivers were slow to become available. This is not as much of an issue anymore. 2. Windows Explorer (and the open file dialog) is broken. I think they could have heeded the rule if it ain't broke don't fix it. Now, I just want to get to my C: drive, it SHOULDN'T be this complicated. 3. Finally, and this is a general complaint about Microsoft's latest user interface strategy, but why have they chosen to get rid of traditional menus (which everyone is already familiar with) and effectively "hide" functionality. If I am trying to help my Mom over the phone, I can't tell her to click on the File menu anymore, because now it is some multi-color orb in the upper left hand corner of Word 2007. WTF? Can someone who is trained in UI design tell me why you would want to move away from menus that have real words as titles? The only thing I could think of is it saves them on translation costs for localizing their applications, but how much, really? The same thing on Windows Media Player, it is completely non-obvious how to get to the Options dialog for example (you have to right click on the control box, WTF?)
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:33PM (#24695971) Journal

    He'd be perfect...If you don't use Vista, you're an idiot!

  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:34PM (#24695997)
    For $300M, MS could send out bands of programmers to vendors get their Vista drivers working better.

    Wouldn't that generate better PR than using a deadbeat comedian?

    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:43PM (#24696133) Homepage

      This is what I was thinking. It's cute that MS wants to improve the image of Vista. It's even cuter that they think getting a big name star in some ads about "breaking through barriers" will work. At least they aren't dumb enough to do a near clone of the Get A Mac ads. And anything with Seinfeld's name sells. Remember Bee Movie? Did you remember it existed 10 minutes ago, or did reading the name make you think for a few seconds before you remembered it ever existed?

      But $300 million is a ton of money. How much did Apple spend developing 10.5? Was it over $300 million? How much did they spend on 10.1/Puma [wikipedia.org], the free point release?

      You shouldn't need to spend that much money to tell people your 2 year old product isn't trash.

      One of the geniuses bits behind the Apple ads is how simple they are. It's easy to make movies. Adding a new printer works well. Macs do what you want them to. So to combat these simple messages a 5 year old could understand, Microsoft is making a series of ads about breaking through barriers. Sounds like the kind of pseduo-management speak that drives me nuts. I hope the execution is better than the idea sounds, and the rest of Microsoft's campaigns.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        Apple bought NeXT, because they didn't think Be was worth the $200m that the CEO wanted. In the end, Be was sold for $11m to Palm, and Apple bought NeXT for around $400m. Kind of puts $300m in perspective. I wonder what would happen if someone invested $300m in ReactOS...
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:40PM (#24696095)
    Oh shit an ad! I'm peeing my pants right now! Committing to enjoying 30 seconds on TV and committing to adapt to an upheaval of what you depend on daily for crucial tasks are two completely different things, and a quick joke will not ease the tension most people (not to mention businesses) are feeling when they have to consider making the switch.
  • by sakusha (441986) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:52PM (#24696287)

    n/t

  • Wait... (Score:4, Funny)

    by dwiget001 (1073738) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:53PM (#24696297)
    Jerry will plug Vista? Like popping a cap in it's ass? THAT WOULD RULE!
  • VISTA = CHEVROLET (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sco_robinso (749990) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:57PM (#24696377)
    There's only so much you can do when people hate your product before trying it. Chevy's been battling this for a couple years now. They hold focus groups to look at new/prototype designs and the ones with the Chevy 'bowtie' logo consistently score lower. They even show the same model twice slightly modified in some way (different angle, different color) and adding a Honda or Toyota logo drastically improves its score. Consumers dont want to buy the same re-hashed crap over and over. You eventually have to release quality products.

    I dont think Vista's all that bad, but reputation is powerful.
  • Script (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.Traeger@g[ ... m ['oog' in gap]> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:03PM (#24696491) Journal
    Jerry: Hi, I'm a PC.
    Bill: And so am I - but deep down inside, I wish I was a Mac.
    Jerry: Well, try Vista, and you'll be one step closer.
  • by wardk (3037) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:03PM (#24696499) Journal

    to sell a joke?

  • Remember Leno? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ODiV (51631) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:08PM (#24696569)

    Didn't they try this with Jay Leno for Windows 95?

    Ah yes, here we go [youtube.com].

    I guess it was more at launch, then after launch.

    "Hay guys, I hear Windows 95 is fast enough to handle all of OJ's alibis at once!"

  • The Episode (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:14PM (#24696671)

    Elaine (with Apple-ish grin): I just bought a Macbook
    Jerry (non-chalantly sipping his coffee in front of his Dell): So? I've got Vista.
    Elaine (frowning): But this is a Mac, Jerry.
    Jerry: But it's not Vista.
    Elaine: No, it's not Vista. It's a Mac.
    Jerry: It's very shiny. What'd that thing cost you?
    Elaine (defensive): What does that matter?
    Jerry: One thousand?
    Elaine: Jerry...
    Jerry: Two thousand?
    Elaine: Stop...
    Jerry: Three th--
    Elaine: $2755.
    Jerry: Inclu--
    Elaine: Including tax.
    Jerry: 1250
    Elaine: 1250 what?
    Jerry: Vista.
    Elaine: But it's not a Mac!
    Jerry: It checks email.
    Elaine: So does my Mac.
    Jerry: Surfs the web.
    Elaine: So does my Mac.
    Jerry: Makes movies.
    Elaine: So does...it does? I thought Windows didn't make movies.
    Jerry (shrugs and sips): Vista.
    (Door explodes open!)
    Kramer: Jerry! The Dell store down the street is selling computers with Vista for $1500!
    Jerry: 1250
    Kramer (walking over to Jerry's laptop): Oooh, is that...
    Jerry: Vista.
    Kramer: Niiiice.

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:50PM (#24697221)

    Perhaps Vista is destined to become highly collectable [wikipedia.org] like Henry Ford's greatest failure.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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