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Sienfeld wants you to buy Vista, Shatner wants you to buy a Vic 20
August 21, 2008 5:07 PM   Subscribe


 
Me, I would have gone with John Hodgeman. Screw that other guy, he's the cool one in the Mac ads.
posted by Artw at 5:09 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I clicked the link I was kinda hoping to see da Vinci, alexander the Great, Plato, maybe Charlemagne.
posted by lekvar at 5:11 PM on August 21, 2008


By now, you’ve probably heard that Microsoft latest move to counter the incredibly popular “I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” ads...

Timely!

...was to hire Jerry Seinfeld as their new pitchman

Even timelier!
posted by DU at 5:13 PM on August 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was kinda hoping to see da Vinci, alexander the Great, Plato, maybe Charlemagne.

Shatner is way cooler than all those people. Half of them never even had a computer.
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about Microsoft's choice of Seinfeld earlier today, and realized one of the essential things present-day Apple knows which most major corporations do not:

You can't look hip if your marketing depends on dated references.

Apple? They're using a couple B and C list celebrities, but they're (a) using them for brand-new characters, and (b) they're present-day B and C list celebrities. Jerry Seinfeld is an A-list celebrity, but he's famous because of something he did, not something he is doing.
posted by ardgedee at 5:17 PM on August 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


...throughout the ages.

I figured this would be about Einstein, Feynman, et al's posthumous endorsements of Apple.
posted by alexei at 5:21 PM on August 21, 2008


Remember those 'What's on My Powerbook?" ads? They had one featuring Henry Rollins? Some 'zine did a parody where Rollins' answer was 'A list of people I'm cooler than.'

Heh.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on August 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Speaking of celebrity endorsements, Sean Lennon's been shilling for Honda automobiles here in Japan, as of late.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:31 PM on August 21, 2008


What, no Leno?
posted by ODiV at 5:31 PM on August 21, 2008


Apple also understands their target demographics. That "You are coming to a sad realization, cancel or allow?" was one of the most effective ads I've ever seen. It almost got me to consider a Mac. Almost.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]




I love John Cleese with wild abandon, but that man will sell anything for a buck.
posted by papercake at 5:39 PM on August 21, 2008


What, no drunk Jeff Goldblum?
posted by starman at 5:45 PM on August 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


And what's up with all this stability stuff? The way I see it: computer crash? That just means break time. You've been working too hard. Windows thinks you need to step away from the computer and think it over. Java hang? Java run! Folks, two months on Vista with this kind of interactivity and oh yeah we'll solve the obesity problem.

And c'mon. Macintosh? Please. Who really puts a trashcan on their desktop?
posted by hal9k at 5:50 PM on August 21, 2008


Jerry Seinfeld is an A-list celebrity, but he's famous because of something he did, not something he is doing.

And when he was famous for doing that something, he was famously a Mac user. He even had the silliest Mac ever, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, on his telly programme. Which makes him less a fanboy, more a leather palm rest-licking loon. (Or maybe he was taking the piss out of Mac heads? I only saw the programme a few times.)
posted by jack_mo at 5:52 PM on August 21, 2008


Who really puts a trashcan on their desktop?

Path Finder users.
posted by jack_mo at 5:54 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love John Cleese with wild abandon, but that man will sell anything for a buck.

I blame SIMPSON'S INDIVIDUAL EMPEROR STRINGETTES!
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Needs more Alan Alda.
posted by furtive at 5:59 PM on August 21, 2008


The "I'm a Mac" ads work, but really the only reason why they work is that they allow John Hodgman to be funny. He gets to be far more charming in them, even though he's the brand X.

I think that Microsoft's counter ads (that should have run like two years ago) pretty much write themselves. 20-and-30-somethings don't want to be the cool kid with ripped jeans. They want to be the lovable dope who checks his email at parties. Microsoft could build awesome ads by having a funny nerd just be a funny nerd. Like maybe Brian Posehn.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:13 PM on August 21, 2008


I love John Cleese with wild abandon, but that man will sell anything for a buck.

At least he does it for lots of cash. Eric Idle will pretty much come to your house and pour the contents of your fridge over his head if you'll pay attention to him.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:18 PM on August 21, 2008


Previously
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 6:28 PM on August 21, 2008


What, no Poochie?
posted by blasdelf at 6:31 PM on August 21, 2008


Wow. A bunch of ads. Thanks for that.
posted by dydecker at 6:35 PM on August 21, 2008


Who's the highest-profile celebrity to endorse Linux?
posted by box at 6:47 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And c'mon. Macintosh? Please. Who really puts a trashcan on their desktop?


No offense, but I'm hardly going to listen to usability advice from a homicidal computer.
posted by lekvar at 6:53 PM on August 21, 2008


Charlie Chaplin (aka The Tramp) and the IBM PC.
posted by ericb at 6:56 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who's the highest-profile celebrity to endorse Linux?
posted by box at 11:47 AM on August 22 [+] [!]
Err ... Wil Wheaton?
posted by 5MeoCMP at 7:01 PM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I always thought the HP ads had a very cool concept. Of course, it'd be even cooler if how that was the computer actually worked.
posted by niles at 7:07 PM on August 21, 2008


The celebrity computer related endorsement that made me the most sad was Amy Sedaris hawking Microsoft Office with cute bunnies. The ad was all over facebook for awhile making scrabulous much less fun for me.
posted by DanielDManiel at 7:15 PM on August 21, 2008


Who's the highest-profile celebrity to endorse Linux?

Richard Stallman, of course! And he's enough for you, you know! The MacArthur Foundation says so...
posted by Class Goat at 7:21 PM on August 21, 2008


Here’s Bill Cosby, who was the spokesperson for Texas Instrument’s incredibly lame TI 99/4:

incredibly lame? this sounds like "your favorite childhood memory sucks" to me.

fuck that noise - parsec, tombstone city, that weird pacman knockoff that was better than pacman - the 99/4A was the shit.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 7:24 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


that weird pacman knockoff that was better than pacman

Munchman.
posted by mrbill at 7:32 PM on August 21, 2008


I wrote that it was lame because from a programmer's point of view, it was. Missing keys, a terrible version of BASIC, no way to save your programs -- all leading to lame in my opinion. I'm glad you enjoyed yours.

(I'm a little shocked that I find myself agreeing with Dvorak's assessment of the machine, though.)
posted by AccordionGuy at 7:54 PM on August 21, 2008


The TI 99/4 sounds great:

Texas Instruments' foray into the home computer market didn't last long, and the TI-99/4 offers a few clues as to why. At a time when all other home machines connected to your television, the 99/4 worked only with its own display--which was in fact a bulky 13-inch Zenith TV. Its keyboard came with Chiclet-sized keys more appropriate to one of TI's hand calculators, and like your computer-illiterate mother-in-law, the machine could type only in SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS.
posted by Artw at 7:56 PM on August 21, 2008


And c'mon. Macintosh? Please. Who really puts a trashcan on their desktop?

The Mac trashcan on the desktop went away with OS 9 - it's in the Dock now. Whereas last time I looked at Windows, there it was ... the Recycle Bin, sort of oddly placed somewhere on the left hand side of my screen, randomly plopped down between "My Computer" and "Internet Explorer".

Also - WTF?
posted by kcds at 8:00 PM on August 21, 2008


The biggest celebrity would have to be Muhamad Ali for IBM. Also Avery Brooks a.k.a. Captain Benjamin Sisko of Star Trek infamy- also for Big Blue. Kudos for using minorities too.
posted by Student of Man at 8:21 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


That is... IBM-Linux. Mr. Box. The answer to your question.
posted by Student of Man at 8:24 PM on August 21, 2008


Holy shit, Hawk and The Greatest? Man, I feel so much cooler now. Take a hike, Wheaton. Thanks, Student of Man.
posted by box at 8:34 PM on August 21, 2008


kcds: The Mac trashcan on the desktop went away with OS 9 - it's in the Dock now. Whereas last time I looked at Windows, there it was ... the Recycle Bin, sort of oddly placed somewhere on the left hand side of my screen, randomly plopped down between "My Computer" and "Internet Explorer".

I've never understood the point of either. You could select all of the files you want to get rid of, carefully drag them onto an icon on the edge of the screen, possibly having to minimize windows to get to the desktop where the icon recides. Then you can let stuff accumulate there silently until you remember to empty it, or run out of disk space, whichever comes first.

Or, you know, you could learn to press the delete key. Except now it's shift-delete because users were too stupid to avoid deleting the stuff they wanted and/or learn to use an undelete utility.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:44 PM on August 21, 2008


Wow. That's $300mil Microsoft could spend on fixing Vista, instead of flushing down the toilet. Good luck, gang.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:44 PM on August 21, 2008


Oh, come on, Blazecock Pileon. $300M of money spent on advertising Vista is in no way mutually exclusive from spending $300M fixing it. $300M of well spent advertising money will probably ensure more than $300M in the future to spend on whatever the hell they want.
posted by ODiV at 9:18 PM on August 21, 2008


Who's the highest-profile celebrity to endorse Linux?

Uh... quonsar?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:52 PM on August 21, 2008


I was kinda hoping to see da Vinci, alexander the Great, Plato, maybe Charlemagne

Hi, I'm Blaise Pascal! You might remember me from such things as my wager! I'm here now to tell you about the new miracle of mechanical adding machines...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:58 PM on August 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


Thank God I'm not the only person who thought Pac-Man was a second rate Munchman. I feel vindicated.

Also, George Plimpton could be advertising a free bag of cash and hookers for me, and I'd still think he was too much of an annoying prick to listen.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:25 PM on August 21, 2008


The only celebrity computer endorsement that could possibly sway me would be an endorsement from Laurie Anderson.
posted by treepour at 10:32 PM on August 21, 2008


kcds: I think that "And what's up with all this stability stuff? ... Who really puts a trashcan on their desktop?" comment is supposed to be Seinfeld talking. I know this is MetaFilter, but you don't need to argue with an invented Seinfeld.

Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?!
posted by pracowity at 10:59 PM on August 21, 2008


Who's the highest-profile celebrity to endorse Linux?

jessamyn, surely....
posted by Rumple at 12:10 AM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love John Cleese with wild abandon, but that man will sell anything for a buck.

At least he does it for lots of cash. Eric Idle will pretty much come to your house and pour the contents of your fridge over his head if you'll pay attention to him.


During the original run of Monty Python Eric Idle did an ad for an Austrailian chocolate bar called Nudge as his nudge nudge wink wink character. He felt uncomfortable with selling out so he refused to do any more. John Cleese stepped in and did a series of ads as Eric Idle's character. John Cleese has always been at least equally fuelled by money and talent. It's a slightly more recent thing with Idle.
posted by minifigs at 1:12 AM on August 22, 2008


Bob Hope endorses Vista.

Is there a subtext to only hiring black celebrities to push linux?

All the Monty Python celebs who did not appear in Adventures of Pluto Nash get a free pass to sell out at least ten times over as far as I'm concerned.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:33 AM on August 22, 2008


Here’s Bill Cosby, who was the spokesperson for Texas Instrument’s incredibly lame TI 99/4:

Yeah, the 99/4 was incredibly lame. I had a 99/4A, though, which was amazingly awesome. They both had a whopping 256 bytes of main memory. Yes, bytes, not kilobytes, or megabytes, or something unimaginable like gigabytes.
posted by grouse at 1:37 AM on August 22, 2008


Wow. A bunch of ads. Thanks for that.

Hmmm... Pepsi Mushroom or Pepsi Beige...?
posted by twine42 at 4:27 AM on August 22, 2008


Who could forget Charleton Heston's stellar endorsement of Windows 95? Featuring Karen Black and George Kennedy.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:46 AM on August 22, 2008


TI 99/4A represent!
posted by ColdChef at 5:59 AM on August 22, 2008


Telecommunications rather than computers - and a low quality example - but Stephen Hawking's attempt on behalf of BT is worth a look if you have never seen it.
posted by rongorongo at 6:08 AM on August 22, 2008


It seems like a lot of people don't exactly understand what Microsoft is trying to do with their advertising. You're saying Microsoft can't be "hip" if they use dated references. But who says they want to be hip? and why would they want too? Most of the people Microsoft is trying to market too probably still have fond memories of watching Seinfeld. They're not trying to appeal to hipster 20somethings, they're trying to appeal to people who still run XP and just haven't upgraded. People who probably don't think of themselves as hip.
posted by delmoi at 6:28 AM on August 22, 2008


Metafilter: you don't need to argue with an invented Seinfeld
posted by sugarfish at 6:54 AM on August 22, 2008


I always loved it when watching TV with my grandmother, and whenever a celebrity would show up on a commercial, she would say, mournfully, "Oh, he must need the money." So that's the first thing I think when I see a celebrity in an ad.

And did Seinfeld lose all his in the markets or something? He's got to know that he's doing his celebrity clout no good by selling himself off like a last-call whore. Look at Dennis Miller; I don't, since he started with those dumb long-distance commercials (and then apparently turned way stupid very soon after).
posted by troybob at 8:19 AM on August 22, 2008


I'm kind of curious as to how bad the bee movie could be, but not curious enough to watch it.

a whopping 256 bytes of main memory.

The Commodore 64, and it's whopping 64k of memory, got it's celebrity animal endorsement from an elephant. Becuase elephants never forget, etc...

I think about that every time someone hands me a >64k graphic to put on a website as a minor decoration.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on August 22, 2008


Here's to the crazy ones Joe Divola.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:04 AM on August 22, 2008


It seems like a lot of people don't exactly understand what Microsoft is trying to do with their advertising.

I guess it's hard to see straight when you start by assuming that one corporation and everything it does must be stupid and evil, and that another corporation and everything it does must be brilliant and good.
posted by pracowity at 11:38 AM on August 22, 2008


I forget who said it at the recent Seattle meet up, but there was some suggestion that Microsoft should do what IBM apparently did a while back, and stop spending money on advertising completely, since peoples views on Microsoft are essentially “fixed” and any new ads are just going to be used as evidence to reinforce them.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on August 22, 2008


It wasn't me; I think it was blasdelf.
posted by grouse at 11:46 AM on August 22, 2008


The TI-99/4A was awesome.

On a related note, Isaac Asimov wants you to buy a TRS-80.
posted by Target Practice at 2:02 PM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Microsoft needs to go back to the WinXP /2003 base and try again. Vista "Workstation" or whatever it is called is a terrible operating system. Jerry Seinfeld can't fix that and the average consumer doesn't care what Jerry has to say anyway. Nor can they buy a new computer without Vista. Microsoft is clearly targeting the insanely disproportionate number of middle age IT admins with purchasing power that think quoting the show is a great substitute for wit.

I thought Jay-Z pimping HP was a good ad. Or at least like niles said - if that was how computers actually worked.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 12:35 PM on August 23, 2008


Shrugs. Vista under-delivered but is not entirely horrible, at least on newish machines. If you're on a stable XP set-up its probably worth waiting for the next Windows (which hopefully won't over-reach and fall short quite so much), but talk of MS rolling back to XP is just sillyness.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on August 23, 2008


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