Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ad

After two ads, Microsoft has dragged Jerry Seinfeld behind the shed. What happened back there, no one knows, but sources say that there was the recitation of a mildly amusing nasal monologue ( “Say, what’s the deal with hog slaughtering tubs?”), the sound of thrashing and then sudden silence. Good riddance.

This is the new advertisement campaign: “I’m a PC.” I thought this was going to be awful: on the surface of things, a John Hodgman look-alike is such a creatively bereft idea that I wondered how Microsoft could not realize that such an ad was an admission that Apple had won.

But Microsoft’s done something clever here. The Hodgman doppelganger is just the scene setter, a tacit acknowledgement of Apple’s campaign while, simultaneously, being an implicit observation that in Apple’s ads, the PC is portrayed by the hipper, smarter guy. The ad then quickly flutters through dozens of PC users: from adorably gawky schoolgirls in Africa to astronauts and famous celebrities. A sea of cool, creative, innovative and intelligent people who — with few exceptions — do far more to improve the world than the insufferable Justin Long.

It falls apart in the last ten seconds: some pretentious egghead mumbles something about “not being a human thinking or doing, but a human being.” He then leans back in his chair, a wash of smugness inflating his face, as if this were a fact to be proud of. Does Microsoft really want to conflate the mere, passive act of existing with its operating system? “Hey, just like Windows, existing’s basically all I ever do anymore!”

But that sort of meaningless pretentiousness can be preened out in future ads. This is a great Parthian shot at Apple… a year and a half too late, alas. The message is clear: “Yeah, I’m a PC. So fucking what, asshole?” Microsoft should have been saying this all along.

This entry was posted in apple, vista. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ad

  1. bl8ant says:

    “I’m a PC, and I’m not fat, I’m big-boned.”

    this ‘we are the world’ crap won’t sell an operating system that just doesn’t work.

  2. BJN says:

    Deepak Chopra is a pretentious fool, but following his crap with “I sell fish” is a great juxtaposition. Even New Age gurus need a computer.

  3. Yep says:

    See, _everybody_ is using Windows!!! It’s just how our world is, so get used to it.
    As a wise man once said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    The latest Microsoft Ads are getting the blue screen of death! (video)
    http://nosesplash.com/blog-news/154-im-a-p-of-c.html

  5. bbonyx says:

    Draper approves. Much better than the crap the smoking creatives dragged out two weeks ago.

  6. pork musket says:

    @19 Please. Nobody was good in Galaxy Quest.

  7. nickelrocket says:

    Forgetting the clincher…

    I’m a PC and I Play Video Games!

    C:)

  8. Cpt. Tim says:

    i’m a mac and it does what i need it to do, i imagine a pc would work just as well though.

  9. strider_mt2k says:

    The “human being” stuff did throw the brakes on that thing, spare me the psycho-bs and play my movies dammit.
    I thought the rest was pretty good.

    The fact that it’s getting such strong reactions says something, I think.

  10. GeekDadCanada says:

    If you knew Deepak Chopra’s philosophy (he’s the “pretentious egghead), then I thought his comments were great.

    I think the ads are on the mark, dispelling the myths that Windows users are all business nerds. Despite what the iCult users may comment (see above), both OSX and Vista are robust, viable mature operating systems, and no amount of arrogance or smugness on their part can reverse that fact. Your choice of an OS isn’t based on what one can do over the other, as they pretty much do the same thing. It’s what you do with your computer that matters.

  11. Irregular Shed says:

    I’m a PC – but I’m a Linux PC. Even so, I thought that was a great advert, probably the best MS have ever done.

  12. The Morgan says:

    I thought the new ones were great. I thought the Gates/Seinfeld ones were good too, don’t understand why there was such hate.

  13. Michiel says:

    The ad is a direct response to the message Apple is sending out, and thus is only going to appeal to those who don’t realize they shouldn’t need Microsoft to tell them that it’s ok to be a PC user, no matter what the Apple commercials make them feel like.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Does Microsoft really want to conflate the mere, passive act of existing with its operating system? “Hey, just like Windows, existing’s basically all I ever do anymore!”

    POINTING OUT THE POINTLESSNESS OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF CAPITAL = EPIC WIN FOR GADGET BLOG

    I am sure that one day you will write a product review on the scale of “The Society of the Spectacle”

  15. OM says:

    …All this ad campaign proved is what I’ve been saying for years: Jerry Seinfeld is the Jerry Lewis of the 21st Century. In other words, only someplace culturally bankrupt like France would find him funny.

    Not to be outdone by Steve Jobs’ cancer, Bill Gates develops senile dementia early…

  16. edgore says:

    I think I can say that even someone as useless as Deepak Chopra contributes more to the world than the insufferable Justin Long.

  17. Duffong says:

    “I’m a PC, and I’m a destroyer of worlds, the harbinger of death. Show me your files, and I will annihilate all that you know.”

  18. luxlucis says:

    Deepak Chopra enlightened me, and I’m a PC. I loved the whole thing.

  19. searconflex says:

    Did I spy little Trudeau in there?

  20. Patrick Austin says:

    “I’m a PC and I … oh, what’s that shiny thing? oh my, that really IS quite lovely…ooh, I love how glossy it looks…oh my, and so functional…and it has a usable command line! I’ve never had one of those! Oh my! And it’s got perl and apache pre-installed? And SSH! WOW! I thought I was supposed to be the nerdy one! Huh, let’s have a look here.

    iMac:~ PC$ uptime
    9:20 up 89 days, 44 mins, 4 users, load averages: 0.23 0.27 0.29″

    “Ouch. I’m a PC and I have really low self-esteem right now.”

  21. kshusker says:

    What’s the point of Microsoft advertising WIndows?

    That’s like the power company advertising “I’m electricity” because they are worried that people will start using personal windmills rather then buy their power from the electric co.

  22. rEDcELL says:

    Ummm, that “egghead” is Deepak Chopra.

  23. knifie_sp00nie says:

    Don’t knock Justin Long. Those Apple ads are a fat paycheck so he can pursue his true acting calling- appearing in stoner comedies. He’s no NPH, but his skills are a gift to high people everywhere.

  24. Not a Doktor says:

    I’ve always have thought it was odd how mac is “think different” yet all their products are a very rigid “futuristic space style”*, but windows Pc is so varied because each manufacturer makes little changes to it. There’s even two levels of consumer-level operating system you can buy (xp and vista)

    *R&C Eams-punk

  25. dculberson says:

    Tubman, that was amazing.

  26. schmod says:

    …and I have a beard…

  27. Church says:

    An answer ad? Seriously?

    What is this? A rap beef from the eighties?

  28. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing “clever” about this ad. It’s pathetic, desperate and whiny.

    (As Gruber said over on daringfireball.com, it’s the equivalent to Microsoft saying “please stop making fun of me, Apple” while also tacitly admitting they’ve become Pepsi to Apple’s Coke.)

    And how the heck do you not know who Deepak Chopra is? Do you live in a cave or something?

  29. didymos says:

    What you — and Microsoft — seem to have misunderstood is that Apple is not equating Windows users with John Hodgman, nor are they equating Mac users with Justin Long. Those two men are meant to represent *computers*. Hodgman’s *character*, a PC, is stodgy and bogged down by Windows, while Long’s character is spry, edgy, and easy to use.

    Microsoft has purposefully twisted the message, so as to confuse viewers into believing that Apple has been saying, “hey, you PC users, you’re all like this (albeit brilliant) dork here, but Apple users, we’re all cool and trendy, and better than you!”. When in fact, the Apple ads have been saying *nothing* about Mac and PC users. The conversation, up until now, has been about the computers themselves.

    It’s a subtle and smart move on Microsoft’s part, but it’s also underhanded and despicable.

  30. Enochrewt says:

    #2: You win! That will be the best comment I’ll read all day.

    I hate to break it to you folks, but they didn’t kill the Seinfeld/Gates ads, or at least that’s what Gizmodo says. Though I liked them. I like this one a lot too though.

  31. Bloodboiler says:

    I’m a PC and I have no idea how to make anything original.

    I’m a PC for ordinary ugly people.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Deepak ChOprah is a human being a complete douche. STFUA, DC.

  33. Sean Eric FAgan says:

    I liked the new ads. So much so that I wish Apple had done something like it — it’s an obvious follow-up to the Hodgman/Long ads.

    I explained to a coworker the other day that this isn’t an advertising campaign so much as it is a PR campaign. And the Gates/Seinfeld ones were epic failures at that. The two new ones… pretty good.

  34. Tubman says:

    If anyone’s still unsure whether Macs or PCs are better, this should clear it up definitively.

  35. Anonymous says:

    This ad is showing the outdated Shuttle cockpit, with mechanical instruments, instead of the current glass cockpit.

    How ironic that they are touting yesterday’s PC technology with yesterday’s cockpit technology.

  36. dculberson says:

    Hey now, Justin Long was great in Galaxy Quest.

  37. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    Yeah, that pretentious asshole at the end is Deepak Chopra…and be he a guru or not, he is definitely a pretentious asshole.

    Here in Berkeley when the workers at the Claremont Hotel went on strike to demand that they be paid a living wage, and maybe have some healthcare, Deepak Chopra crossed the picket line and called them all losers.

    Yeah, he’s a PC.

  38. hohum says:

    This thing turned out to be even more god-awful than I had expected. I’m pretty shocked that people are praising it. To be fair, I am an Apple user, but I’ve got no beef with Microsoft. I’m completely sick of Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads. But this really shocked me. I though “Great, MS realized that those Seinfeld ads were just confusing people, now maybe they’ll step it up a notch.” But no… I think this is worse. Way worse. I’d rather be confused.

    But I do like “I’m a PC and I challenge the law.”

  39. Ryan Waddell says:

    I loved the Seinfeld ads. Not as ads, just as good bizarre Seinfeld-esque comedy.

    This one was fine, I guess. I liked the “I sell fish” part too.

    And #15 – you can’t really buy XP anymore… not without a lot of hassle, any way. I hope that Microsoft will consider putting out a “no frills” version of the new Windows… I don’t need all the shiny.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I think the “pretentious egghead” is the guru Deepak Chapra…

  41. Anonymous says:

    I’m a PC, but this ad was designed on a a MAC, using Adobe software (not microsoft expressions). :O)~

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/09/19/microsofts_im_a_pc_campaign_created_with_macs.html

  42. salsaman says:

    Like “Think Different” but live, in color, with “regular” people too– impressively Applish and must have cost a bit. [Clap], [clap], made me feel tingly, peed myself a sec– nice bit of theater. Sure Chopra was a tough pill at the end, but “I sell fish” deflated it funnily. I’m still a PC hater, but that was a sweet spot.

  43. mgfarrelly says:

    I am identified by the type of computer I use.

  44. themindfantastic says:

    MS I think was trying the whole ‘yeah well ignore them we own the market let them try and be hip… the bottom line is all that matters’ not so much about uptime or better products but simply money. Thing is Apple has been good at getting ‘mindshare’ people don’t THINK so much about windows its just there, but apple you think about it quite a bit, and someone said okay okay we gotta hit back… but this is like at age 30 hunting down a bully who beat you up in grade 5.

    The Commerical works, but as Brownlee said far too late in the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

More BB

Boing Boing Video

Flickr Pool

Digg

Wikipedia

Advertise

Displays ads via FM Tech

RSS and Email

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States and other countries.

FM Tech