Microsoft Unwraps 2nd Seinfeld Salvo

BOSTON The second salvo in Microsoft’s Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates campaign has appeared in the form of a four-minute-plus video available on YouTube and elsewhere.

The iconic comedian and Microsoft chairman this time venture to suburbia, where they try to act like regular guys despite being surrounded by a highly irregular family. The off-kilter atmosphere is reminiscent of Seinfeld’s classic ’90s sitcom, and Jerry’s wisecracks and his odd chemistry (or lack thereof) with the stiff yet likeable Gates coming to the fore in this installment.

Microsoft’s first ad with the pair, set in a discount shoe store, broke last week during National Football League coverage. That commercial was 90 seconds long and was, for the most part, judged overly quirky and confusing by commentators. Adweek’s ad critic Barbara Lippert gave the work a mixed review.

Much like that earlier effort, the new spot takes a soft-sell approach to its subject matter, with no overt product pitches and only a fleeting reference to Microsoft, mainly in the form of the logo at the end, though Gates, of course, is virtually synonymous with the company he cofounded.

MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami handles the assignment, part of an overarching $300 million campaign for the software giant in Redmond, Wash.