The Who2 Blog

An Existential End for the ‘Nothing’ Ads

“This the way the ad ends
This is the way the ad ends
This is the way the ad ends
Not with a bang, but a whimper.”
      -T.S. Ogilvy Eliot

Those weird Microsoft ads with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld are suddenly kaput.

Microsoft confirmed last night that Seinfeld is out, but insisted that it was all planned — that the two Seinfeld spots were just to get people talking before the real ad campaign started.

It certainly did get people talking.

The abrupt end is just as well: Between the glum settings, the random churros, and Jerry clipping his nails — not to mention the run time growing from 1.5 minutes to 4.5 minutes — we’d started to wonder if the ad agency had pitched the whole campaign by saying, “It’s like Waiting for Godot — where Godot is Microsoft!”

Things seemed to be headed toward a final 17-minute “ad” where the two aging impresarios, dressed as pierrot clowns with pleather shoes, wandered lost in a scene from T.S. Eliot‘s The Wasteland:

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river.

And in the final shot, Bill Gates would have wiggled his rump. Fin!

We suppose there’s a tip o’ the cap due to Microsoft for creating a much-yakked-about campaign. But whatever happens in “phase two,” frankly, it will be a relief.

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