The Borg is hiring Jerry Seinfeld (shown at right, using Vista for first time) in a sad attempt to counter Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads and win over young customers. That’s what the Journal is reporting today, citing “sources” close to the company. Well, it’s another brilliant move. Because Seinfeld is so hip — if by hip you mean “hip surgery.” Sure, the 50-something guys who run Microsoft think Seinfeld is waaaaay cool, and they’re all totally psyched to get to meet him and whatever. But think, people. Kids who are 18 today weren’t born when the Seinfeld show first aired in 1989. And they were only eight when the show went off the air. Geddit? They never watched it. They have no idea who Seinfeld is — except maybe they know him as that assclown in the bee costume in some flop movie that they didn’t see. Borg, come on. Seinfeld? Really? David Brenner wasn’t available? Or Jackie Mason? Don Rickles?
O Borg, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh, I guess. But we won’t be laughing with you, if you know what I mean.
Two funny things about this morning’s story. One, it cites anonymous sources, who clearly were people inside Microsoft and/or Waggener Edstrom. But then the Journal goes out of its way to say that an official spokesperson at the Borg declined to comment. So prissy! Clearly this was a teed up story, for several reasons. One, do you really think anyone in the world, including reporters at the Journal, actually care enough about the Borg’s advertising plans to go chasing down sources for leaks? Second, there’s way too much info in the story. In other words, Borgbots wanted the story out and figured a leak to the Journal would generate more buzz than a simple press release.
Anyway, it’s classic Borg. We’re in trouble? Hire someone famous! Spend a shitload of money! This is Ballmer in full-blown Detroit mode (remember he grew up in the Motor City and his dad worked at Ford) trying to make the latest clunker seem cool by paying Dean Martin to drive one.
What the Borg doesn’t realize is that no matter how good an advertisement might be, it only resonates if there’s a grain of truth. Which is why the “I’m a Mac” ads worked. Also, no matter how great an ad might be, it can’t make people buy a bad product. It can’t make a bad product good. It’s advertising, not magic. (Note to Borg — maybe you should hire David Blaine? Or Criss Angel?)
Point is, Alpo could hire Jerry Seinfeld, but it couldn’t convince the world that it was selling caviar. But, um, good luck with that ad campaign, Microsoft. And keep working overtime on that Windows 7 product. Seriously.