Be Careful if Jerry Seinfeld knocks on your door looking for work…

Gates & Seinfeld with a 350 Million dollar budget – the failed ad campaign has been pulled by Microsoft.

Valleywag reports Microsoft insiders are spreading the word that the ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld has been pulled. Seinfeld will be dropped altogether from the commercials after just two episodes of the projected mini-series of ads had been released. 

Here is what Microsoft got from Jerry Seinfeld for a reported paycheck to the comedian of ten million dollars… 


And the second – Longer and even more pitiful edition of this advertising campaign


The intended purpose of these spots can be called to question but many speculate Microsoft is attempting to fend off the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” series of commercials presented by Apple.  This very late and very poorly executed response does nothing to influence consumers to consider Microsoft Vista over Mac OSX and Apple products.

With an estimated $300 million left in Microsoft’s ad budget (Of the reported $350 million dedicated to the Seinfeld/Gates disaster), Microsoft is now claiming the expulsion of Jerry Seinfeld was in the plan all along. Gates will continue on by himself with the campaign – I wonder, is this an even more scary thought? 

Microsoft representative Frank Shaw indicates Jerry Seinfeld may be used in “other” areas.

Like what? Greeter at the Redmond campus? Trade show booth fodder?  Maybe a replacement for the infamous pop up Paper Clip or Einstein characters in Windows versions past?

For my audience the lesson here is…

Spending money in the wrong place happens to everyone. Marketing is not an exact science and even people with huge budgets and loads of talent get it wrong, sometimes horribly wrong as in this case.

Having $350 million or $300 dollars to spend on promotion of a business does not always mean you will get that amount of return on your investment.  Sometimes, if your lucky, the return will be there ten fold. Other times, as in the Microsoft example, nothing could be farther from the truth.

You must continue to promote and to try new and exciting things like video and social marketing as a small business owner.  Just be very careful if Jerry Seinfeld knocks on your door looking for work…

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0 Responses to Be Careful if Jerry Seinfeld knocks on your door looking for work…

  1. tiphut September 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    I did the same thing with google adsense.

    We had an ad campaign of $50/day for 4 months for

    It fared ok, we were getting phones in but we were also putting the envelopes in our daily packages.

    We stopped the ads and when we stopped we noticed the ads were not worth the money. We waisted thousands of dollars but in the end we learned what NOT to do, one more step closer of what to do.

    Of course adsense can work for people but for the profit we were paying per click, it was not cost efficient.

  2. frosty September 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    yea that ad campaign was painful to watch i would say

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