Hey part two is out, its longer, slightly funnier and better in my opinion. Theres a high res version available at the windows site.
Now a lot of people are getting irritated or just plain confused by these ads, and I can see why… they’re not actively trying to sell anything. You just see a windows logo at the end and thats it, 4 minutes worth of airtime and you spend all of 5 seconds to show your product. Although that may seem stupid to some, and at the risk of sounding like a Microsoft fanboy (if there are still some left), I think its brilliant. It showcases Microsoft’s power, they’ve got 300 million to spend on these ads and they can waste airtime if they wanted to. But not selling a product in an ad isnt a total waste, Microsoft is in a unique position right now. How many times have you seen a company get ripped on by attack ads from a competitor for more than to years (Apple ads) without doing anything? I remember seeing coke and pepsi commercials attacking each other when I was a kid and thinking wow the free speech is great, those ads were funny, entertaining and creative. But now after years of staying silent people are thinking that its ok to make fun of Microsoft because they dont fight back. Well now they are and instead of coming up with similar ads to Apple, which would seem totally lame since they’re just copying and are a few years behind, they’ve chosen a more subtle approach. Now they’re easing us in, using the first few ads to introduce the characters Bill and Jerry as your friends and not just some people who are ‘out of touch’ and are trying to sell you their product. And another cool thing about these ads are the ‘easter eggs’ that only the tech enthusiasts will either get or just speculate about. For instance it can be argued that the old lady in the ad is Steve Jobs, being with the family for 12 years (Steve Jobs became CEO in ’96) and does everything around the house, gardening, laundry, fixing cars etc; which is pretty much what Steve does in Apple or at least is perceived to do approving apps, designs, answering e-mails (:)). Plus the old lady can be seen as a way of making fun of Steve Jobs health, which is often a concern for Apple investors. And then the food that they’re eating during dinner where Bill asks, “didnt we have this yesterday?” Can be directed to Apple’s products, with Apple touting itself as an innovative company, it really hasn’t come out with anything ground breaking other than the iPhone 3G (which of course has had several fixes since it came out, app store is still killer though). Thats why Jerry said theres some cheese in it, describing the way Apple tries to improve products by not really changing anything important (iPods this year only got that shake to shuffle feature and a design improvement). And sometimes Bill and Jerry are actually funny, I liked how Bill was reading to the kid and he said “its ok theres a firewall.” And I think that thats the beauty of these ads, you dont get them the first time but it encourages you, if you’re interested enough, to take a look and pick apart every scene. Like I’m still interested in what the conquistador shoes represent since they made an appearance on both ads. At the very least, even if there are some negative publicity its still publicity, people are talking about Microsoft again, people are waiting for the next part, people are taking another look at Vista after ignoring it for so long because of what they heard or actually experienced and most of all, people like me are blogging about it!