News from Valleywag… It looks like Microsoft is cutting the Seinfeld/Gates ad campaign short and ditching Seinfeld altogether. As I’ve shared here before, I never really “got” the ads, but thought they had some comedic value, if no marketing value. There has been speculation about whether or not Microsoft would pull the plug early or drag it out for the inevitable punchline. We always knew the ads were going somewhere; now, we’ll probably never know where that was.
Remember those awful Microsoft ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates? Well, now you can forget them. Microsoft flacks are desperately dialing reporters to spin them about “phase two” of the ad campaign — a phase, due to be announced tomorrow, which will drop the aging comic altogether. Microsoft’s version of the story: Redmond had always planned to drop Seinfeld. The awkward reality: The ads only reminded us how out of touch with consumers Microsoft is — and that Bill Gates’s company has millions of dollars to waste on hiring a has-been funnyman to keep him company. Update: In a phone call, Waggener Edstrom flack Frank Shaw confirms that Microsoft is not going on with Seinfeld, and echoes his underlings’ spin that the move was planned. There is the “potential to do other things” with Seinfeld, which Shaw says is still “possible.” He adds: “People would have been happier if everyone loved the ads, but this was not unexpected.”
UPDATE: Apparently, it was “all part of the plan.” So says the New York Times.