Did you get the new Microsoft Seinfeld and Gates ad?

Microsoft aired the first commercial on Thursday of its new Windows branding campaign, with comedian Jerry Seinfeld chance meeting Bill Gates shopping for leather shoe at ‘Shoe Circus’. There is no words of ‘computer’,’Windows’ or ‘software’ in the ad. Did you ‘get’ the new ad? Apparently many didn’t as Microsoft officials were calling reporters to explain it.

Microsoft vice president Bill Veghte who is responsible for the $300 million campaign said that the first ad is meant to restart a conversation with consumers. The campaign aims to tell the story of Windows, the story of “how Windows enables a billion people around the globe to do more with their lives today”, and “to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows”. Subsequent ads in the series will focus more on Windows itself, he said.

Besides the series of ads, Microsoft has also changed the way it works with PC manufacturers in order to build computers that perform better, and “to deliver a compelling Windows experience”. Microsoft also plans to hire 155 “gurus” by this year to assist customers in Circuit City, Best Buy and other retailers.

The ad campaign has been seen as response to Apple’s successful “Get A Mac” ads and to counter the resurgence of Apple Macs. This first ad, however does nothing to shed the bad reputation of Windows Vista. We are also not clear who is Microsoft’s target audience as Seinfeld is not really the favorite of the younger crowd. Easily one of Microsoft’s biggest campaign to date, we would think the money could be better spend on building better quality Windows instead.