Seinfeld-Gates TV commercial No. 2: 3 times longer, funnier?

Jerry and Bill try to connect with a typical suburban family (see video below)
  • Eric Lai (Computerworld)
  • 15 September, 2008 08:37
Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld

The second Windows commercial starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates showed up on YouTube last night at a length of four and a half minutes -- normal for a pop song, long for a TV commercial.

Possibly stung by criticism that the first commercial, which ran for a minute-and-a-half, was obtuse and difficult to understand, Microsoft uploaded the entire two-part commercial, entitled "New Family -- Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates (Long Version)," during the CBS reality show, Big Brother on Thursday night in the US.

The commercial can be viewed on YouTube.

The plot, as it were, goes like this: Jerry and Bill bunk down at the home of an average white suburban family, their averageness indicated by their three kids, cranky mother-in-law, pets and fondness for scalloped potatoes.

"I got some fancy mustard for you," the mom tells Seinfeld. "It's got white wine in it, like the fancy restaurants have."

"Well, I love a condiment with booze in it," replies Seinfeld, while the mom smiles, not getting his trademark irony.

"Why are we doing this?" Gates asks Seinfeld, who lays it out: The two are out of touch with the mainstream, with Gates living in a "moon house hovering over Seattle" while Seinfeld has "so many cars, I get stuck in my own traffic. We need to connect with real people."

Gates plays videogames with one of the sons, and fills the above-ground pool with a garden hose, while Seinfeld plays ping-pong with the mom, then cuts his toenails, grossing out the teenage daughter.

The two are eventually evicted after they are accused of stealing a tchocke from Mexico. The commercial ends with the two pulling their rolling suitcases down a suburban street.

Immediate comments on YouTube were mixed, but far less negative than the reaction after the first one.

"Well I'm a Mac guy and I must admit that I really enjoy them so far," wrote Brindle9. "Who cares how much they cost!"

"I showed it to my wife, telling her it was short and it would be over soon," wrote IndiaUSA1. "At the end, she slapped me and asked me never to show her such ads again."

And of course, there were some smartypants who pointed out logic problems in the commercial, in particular, with one scene where the grandma was working on Jerry and Bill's broken-down car.

"If that Chevy Malibu had blown head gaskets, why was she under the car?" asked Stealthcorvette, while 'SteamyNachos' wrote "Why was the grandma going under the car feet first?"