In a surprising move, Jerry Seinfeld has been ousted as Microsoft pitchman in favor of a much, much more recognizable face… Pharell Williams of the Neptunes! OK, maybe this is something of a lateral move for Microsoft.
Seinfeld got the axe after a series of fairly bizarre ads that I think I liked. Maybe that’s part of the problem there. The one where Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld went shoe-shopping really had very little to do with Microsoft, and seemed to be a rather blatant attempt to counter the hip Justin Long/John Hodgman ads that Apple’s been cranking out of late. But I gotta admit, moving to Pharell? I like him and all, but I wasn’t 100% sure I even knew what the guy looked like until I Googled him and said, “Oh yeah, sure I do.” And he’s known as much, if not more, for his behind-the-scenes work as for his MCing, no?
In an a skewed way, it’s kind of cool to see an artist like Pharrell pitching a behemoth like Microsoft. But in another, less skewed way, it doesn’t make a lot of sense given Seinfeld’s actual stardom. Seeing as how Seinfeld got $10 million for the ads, this is probably a wise financial decision. Pharrell costs what, a few grand? (Keep in mind, I’m guessing based off my standard rate for public appearances, which is a sixer of Bud Ice.)
Pharrell is actually part of Microsoft’s “Phase Two” phalanx. Translation: “Phase One featuring Jerry Seinfeld” only became “Phase One” when those ads tanked. “Phase Two” places Pharrell in a marketing Cerberus that includes Eva Longoria and Deepak Chopra, last seen in The Love Guru. We all know how that one turned out.
I need to point out here that the guy who played weak-spined newspaper editor Thomas Klebanow in Season 5 of The Wire is in this ad. Seeing that guy makes me mad. You should have listened to Gus and Alma, you creep!
Microsoft Dumps Seinfeld For Rapper Pharrell [AllHipHop]