August 22, 2008

Report: Seinfeld Signs Microsoft Ad Deal

U.S. comedian Jerry Seinfeld has signed a $10 million deal to pitch Microsoft software as the company tries to battle negative perceptions, sources say.

Microsoft has launched a $300 million advertising campaign to counter the stinging criticism it has endured in Apple's "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" television commercials, which portray its software as stodgy and unhip, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources close to the deal.

Seinfled and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates will appear together in some of the ads, which are expected to use the "Windows, Not Walls" slogan in some capacity, the newspaper said.

The immediate goal of the campaign is to burnish the image of Microsoft's Windows Vista personal computer operating system, which has been portrayed as a failure in the Apple ads. The Journal says the software has sold well and Microsoft is retaining its overwhelming share of the operating system market.

But, it notes, Apple's sales are rising and Vista is hampered with a perception that it is balky and hard to use, problems that Microsoft says it has fixed.