Microsoft enlists Seinfeld for ad campaign: source

Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:30pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will star in a $300 million marketing campaign for Microsoft Corp aimed at burnishing the image of its computer operating system, a person familiar with the effort said on Thursday.

The centerpiece of that campaign, to debut next month, is a series of television advertisements in which Seinfeld, 54, best known for his eponymous NBC sitcom, will appear with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the person told Reuters.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported details of the marketing effort, said Seinfeld will receive about $10 million for his work.

Seinfeld's representatives were not immediately available for comment and Redmond, Washington-based computer software giant Microsoft declined to discuss the matter.

But the source who knew of the ad campaign said an immediate goal of the commercials is to counter public perceptions that Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, is clunky and hard to use compared with rival products from Apple Inc.

The overall objective of the campaign is to rejuvenate the brand image of Windows generally, the source said.

Devised by the Miami-based ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the spots will employ some variation of the slogan "Windows, Not Walls" and the theme of removing barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting, the person said.

The ads will begin appearing September 4. The Wall Street Journal said the $300 million marketing campaign is one of the largest in the company's history.   Continued...

<p>Jerry Seinfeld poses at the premiere of "Bee Movie" in London December 6, 2007. REUTERS/Anthony Harvey</p>