Seinfeld, Gates make way for regular folks

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When Valleywag reported late Wednesday that Microsoft was canceling its Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates campaign (or "moving on to phase two," however they wanna spin it), my immediate reaction was: Those guys in Redmond, Wash., are a bunch of wussies. Sure, I was one of the few commentators who liked the spots. But I stand by that opinion, just like I continue to stand by Betamax! Those Microsoft teasers roused intense interest in the brand and—for two weeks, at least—humanized Gates, a man who previously seemed unlikable even when he gave away billions of dollars to charity. Now, instead of a feel-good, brand-friendly Abbott and Costello routine, Microsoft will apparently attempt to redefine Apple’s "I’m a PC" line in ads, also by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, that will feature regular people (and a few celebs) who use Vista. Never mind that most people can’t even load Vista! UPDATE: As for the news that a John Hodgman clone will appear in Microsoft’s latest salvo, I’m hurt and dismayed that I didn’t get the part. I gained 20 pounds for the audition! OK, 10 pounds. Five? You win: I actually slimmed down for the role. Happy now?

—Posted by David Gianatasio