Microsoft + Seinfeld + Gates = FAIL

There’s a fine line between crazy and genius and CPB’s new Microsoft has drawn some attention and criticism at least in the advertising community. The common consensus is that it was a disaster, but is there more to it? As nicely said by nowpublic:

The widespread consensus: Microsoft + Jerry + Bill = FAIL.
The result: Gates + Seinfeld = CANCELLED.
The Microsoft version: it was all part of the plan.

So would you believe that they paid Seinfeld $10MM for two ads? Are they bringing him back later? Is this really going somewhere?

A Microsoft spokesperson said that Microsoft was launching its “largest consumer focused marketing campaign in its history” that it hopes “will engage consumers about the broader value of the Windows brand.”

Microsoft’s new adverts that will feature a brown-suited company engineer who resembles John Hodgman — the comedian who plays the unfashionable PC character in the “PC vs Mac” ads. Other adverts will include cameo appearances from Bill Gates, as well as celebrities like Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria, hip-hop star Pharrell Williams, and the author Deepak Chopra.

It won’t be hard to make anything better or more successful than the line they drew with the two Seinfeld ads (Shoe Circus and New Family). Anyone wants to take a wild guess at CPB’s overall strategy?

About The Author

Rob Gonda
Rob is a senior executive consultant that has been performing CIO/CTO/CDO/CXO roles for companies varying from small startups, to mid-market fast growth private equity owned, to large fortune 100 enterprises. He focuses on digital transformation, impact of technology and shifting consumer behavior, and brings an entrepreneurial management style to corporations driving business outcome through business modeling, product innovation, technology modernization, and process reengineering. Over the last 20+ years, he has started and sold five digital businesses, served as senior executive for fortune companies, and as a strategic advisor in the areas of digital experience, business management, branding and advertising to dozens of top fortune corporations including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Diageo, Target, and many others. Rob most recently was the Executive Vice President and Chief Digital, Technology, and Product Officer for Catalina Marketing, a leading marketing technology company focusing shopper intelligence, personalization, and offers and promotions management. In his role, Rob led the company vision for all digital go-to-market strategies enabled through platforms and technology, playing a key role in the company’s digital transformation journey by bringing a fresh vision to initiatives across the company’s cloud platform, in-store, data science, and technology ecosystems. He was responsible to run the world’s largest addressable in-store media network, powering the most advanced shopper intelligence, and blurring the lines of Physical and Digital by creating Catalina’s marketing cloud. Prior to Catalina, Rob led the digital transformation for one of the world’s most iconic brands, McDonald’s Corporation, where he was VP, Global Digital and Data. In this role, Rob pioneered McDonald’s digital transformation and moved to company from mass marketing to mass personalization for 70 million customers a day by building state-of-the art interfaces and globally scalable integrated digital solutions. Rob helped define and introduce new business capabilities, a digital product lineup, direct-to-consumer communications, e-commerce capabilities, and digitized kiosks and menus boards. Earlier in his career, Rob co-founded and served as CTO for iChameleon, a boutique digital agency for global clients that disrupted the industry and was acquired by Sapient Corporation. At Sapient, Rob served as Global Head of Emerging Technology and Innovation, responsible for leading the company’s marketing technology function, ensuring delivery excellence, running innovation workshops and strategic planning for top clients. Rob has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering and a master in business administration. He is a dynamic thought leader, published author, active contributor to the industry, frequent speaker, and a former digital chair for the 4A’s and the ARF. Rob speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew.