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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ads Pull Gates from Behind Windows Curtain

It is not very often that we are allowed to see the wizard, so it is a breath of fresh air to see Bill Gates open his rainbow window to say hello to legions of users. The premiere of the Microsoft Windows commercial last week during the first NFL game of the season (Go Giants) gave us a look at how Microsoft plans to counteract (or attack) the infamous Apple vs. Windows commercials.

Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates - what a pair? Bill Gates, never really a showman, demonstrates a cooler side in this first commerical as he, one of the world's richest men, shops at a discount shoe store. Seinfeld plays it up well with Gates. But does all the nerd mocking and Gates shorts adjusting matter at the end of the dueling technology day? Microsoft seems to think so.

Although not a brilliant commericial, the fact that there is a Microsoft commercial featuring Gates and Seinfeld created all the buzz the dominating brand needed. The first of many anticipated commercials only showed the iconic Windows symbol once at the end, but the intrigue behind seeing Bill Gates shopping with Jerry Seinfeld was more than enough to peak curiosities.

One thing I did get out of the commercial is that Microsoft is finally feeling the pressure to compete in a world it has dominated for nearly three decades. Apple is a force to be reckoned with and finally Microsoft is waking up from a dreamy period of bliss to realize that its time to come out swinging.

As a devoted Microsoft user, I applaud these marketing efforts. There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition (and salvation). I just hope that behind all of the hoopla of the advertising campaign that the geeks in Redmond are working very hard in the research and development department to innovate once again.

Shakira Brown is a partner with,Branding4newbies (B4N), a full service consulting firm providing marketing, communications, branding and web strategy services to small and emerging businesses. is an award-winning marketing and advice blog for entrepreneurs. B4N's team of professionals provide quality services at competitive prices to help support the advancement of small businesses. Its services include, but are not limited to: web strategy & development, graphic design, public relations, marketing, collateral material development, advertising, content development, search engine optimization, reputation management and business strategy.