Microsoft is back with their dreadful Bill&Jerry campaign.
This time, the pair goes to live with a “regular” family in the suburbs, in order to “connect” with “real people”.
“Connection” is what it’s all about, with Microsoft trying to rebrand PC from Personal Computer to Perpetually Connecting.
This ad is as dumb and absurd as the previous one, with Gates at its dullest self and Seinfeld as out of sync as anyone else.
But the funny thing is that, for all the behind the scenes conceptualization about “connection”, what the ad shows us is how Gates and Seinfeld clearly can’t connect with the family.
When playing a pair’s Ping-Pong game, Seinfeld can’t stop blaming the mother for their mishaps (so much for connecting with your partner); Gates bores a kid to death while reading him a goodnight story from what it seems like a software developers’ manual, thus risking causing him permanent emotional trauma.
If you think I’m exaggerating, just imagine having Gates by your bed reading you a story, and you can see what the kid has been put through.
Gates and Seinfeld are the quintessential undesirable guests. If this were to be a TV show – and that is, after all, the all idea, to package the ad as a Seinfelnesque type of TV show – everybody would be rooting for them to be thrown down the well or electrocuted with a toaster in the bath.
In fact, they are so obnoxious that the family’s little girl, fed up with having them squatting in her room, devises a plot to frame them for stealing a vacation’s souvenir. As a result, they endure forced labour and are finally booted out of the house.
So there you go: the company that wants you to think of them as “connecting people”, builds an ad in which the characters can’t really connect with anyone, and are in the end thrown out of the environment in which they strived to enter.
Some would consider this a pretty telltale sign of what’s already going on, as Google consolidates its position in the post-desktop environment and Microsoft lags further and further behind.
What’s beyond me is why Microsoft would want to reinforce this idea.
Incredibly, Microsoft seems not to have anything better to say about its future offerings than Seinfeld’s absurd musings about emails for frogs and websites for goldfishes, which are confirmed by a “robot Gates” trying to dance (a frightful sight).
In the end, as we watch Gates and Seinfeld dragging along their suitcases in their misguided quest to “connect”, asking themselves where they’re headed, we can’t help but wonder: is Microsoft on a road to nowhere?