Friday, September 05, 2008

Gates-Seinfeld: Deep

I have almost too much to say about this so I am going to say very little. It is an ad for Microsoft starring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. It is intended to be as groovy as Apple's Get a Mac ads. It isn't, but it's, well, deeper. Commenters, if you can be bothered this chilly Friday, suggest short psycho-social-aesthetic analyses of this very odd film. There will be a prize for the best entry - a kind word.

14 comments:

  1. Totally misses the point of advertising...at least in the short term; Awareness is not Microsoft's problem. This presumably has to be going 'somewhere'. A series of ads? Reinforcing Mr. Ordinary's decision to stick with Microsoft rather than desert to the cooler, more expensive, Apple?

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  2. buy conquistadors, one size bigger, and wear them in the shower. oh, and Seinfeld is officially the least funny professional comic in the US today, he even makes computer nerds look zany.

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  3. Bill Gates is most definitely the Conquistador. He came, he saw, he conquered. On the other hand, rather than killing and enslaving the multitudes he conquered with his p.c.'s, he's helping them with his vast riches. He's the anti-Conquistador in that way. Despite the anti-trust issues Microsoft has been embroiled in (and I know many people, including my spouse, who are furious at the way other options are eliminated by Windows/M.S.), I have nothing but admiration for Mr. Gates.

    By the way, he wiggles his butt pretty cutely too. Who'd a thunk it? He looks so asexual and nerdy, but obviously there's a lot more to him than his big brain!

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  4. A lot more Susan....!

    But let’s just say that he has his part to play in the psycho-pathological process that has unfolded in the cases of millions of nerds since just before 5:45 am on Friday September 1st., 1939.

    The date is significant!

    After all, to a normal onlooker most computer nerds today exhibit the same symptoms of lunacy or at the very least severe hysteria. And whereas individual resistance can only be a form of suicide, we are, at the same time, called upon, not to renege, but to surrender...

    ...erm, Bryan...hope that helps!

    D.

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  5. I tried to open the link to the ad but failed - is it because I is a PC user? Then I read Susan's comment and was glad I had failed. The very idea of Bill Gates shaking his body parts is too ghastly.

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  6. Oh well, it's a bit of an odd advert with all the phallic imagery in the form of those long bread stick things. Even one of the spectators looking through the window is brandishing one. Bill complains about things being "a little tight" and later on wiggles his bum. If this is what happens when one goes Microsoft, I think I'll pass.

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  7. He wiggled his butt for Susan b (see above) not for you Mark

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  8. Seinfeld hi represents hi popping tabs hi in Internet Explorer hi - background windows that hi leap in front of the one you're hi using, just to say hi. Nerds call it hi stealing focus. It hi is hi fucking annoying. Bill Gates dreamt the ad and knew it had to be made but not why. Hi.

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  9. Hilarious but doesn't change my hatred for my tower PC and my near-religious belief that i'd have been better served with a mac laptop and a whore and bag of organic apples.

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  10. Reinforcing the idea that Microsoft and Seinfeld are 90s has-beens?

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  11. Switched to Mac three months ago after a year of Vista misery. Never going back, phallic breadsticks or not.

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  12. Here's my brief analysis:

    Gates is shopping at a discount shop. For an ordinary billionaire, this would be an irony. But because Gates is a philanthropic anti-billionaire, it must be post-ironic.

    Seinfeld plays the starstruck everyman, but he is an extremely famous everyman. His fame is assumed by the ad, so he is a post-everyman. But he behaves madly, so he is an anti-post-everyman.

    We've had postmodern ads (Marmite) and post-postmodern ads (Cilit Bang). This is the world's first post-post-postmodern ad.

    A non-ad for a product that isn't a product and doesn't need advertising.

    What do I get?

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  13. Not much. This is supremely clever ad that should 'move to trash' the pompous Mac ones.

    The ad goes way beyond the obvious paradox of Bill Gates in a thrift shoe store.

    It is full of red herrings, except for the discussion about edible PCs at the end. This is the point.

    The joke here is that an operating system like Windows cannot make a PC edible. The exchange points up the fundamental difference between a Mac and PC: the former is a universal machine that is no longer dependent on its material embodiment. A Mac seen in this light is positively antediluvian.

    That takes us back to the shoes: the material clutter of the everyday that a pure OS like Windows transcends. You never have to worry about the size or fit.

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