I had high hopes when Crispin Porter + Bogusky took over the MSFT campaign. I expected something creative, edgy, and/or amusing. I was doubly excited when I heard Seinfeld was involved. Imagine my (and your) dissapointment with this garbage:
Questions: Yeah. He’s 95% embedded into the brand. But didn’t Bill quit his job awhile back? Why is he here? Shoes in the shower? Why the Spanish subtitles? Moist and chewy? What’s the point? Most importantly, the questions that ANY ad should answer and that this ad fails miserably at — What’s being sold here? and What’s the call to action?
Frankly, it’s as bad as when the local car dealer calls in his kids and does an ad just to entertain himself. I hope Jerry, Bill, and CP+B had a fun time shooting it.
So today was Bill Gates’ last day. However, there was an incident. As he tried to leave the building for good, this popped up in the door: He couldn’t get it to go away and none of his keys worked. Eventually, he just had to turn the power off to the building and walk away in a huff. When they open back up Monday morning, Steve Ballmer will have to run a scandisk before he can come in.
There is a widely held belief that Bill is the devil. I don’t necessarily think HE’S the devil. But his company and his products certainly can be. I think it’s because the brand and the company didn’t develop along with Bill. He would have been a good candidate to develop an accidental brand, but the growth probably overshot him.
Seattle PI’s Todd Bishop found a Bill Gates e-mail from 2003 by sifting through the documents in the antitrust suits. When you read the email, you can see Bill’s frustration because everyone of us has had the problems with Windows that he’s describing in the email. And there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Bill was concerned about usability and making the product work. The problem with MSFT was (is?) the company culture and the individuals below Bill.
The lesson for any organization is that fanatic attention to detail and quality assurance can’t fall on one person. It has to permeate the entire group. The one guy approach may work when the company is small. But if you grow enough to be called a monopoly, it can’t work.