Microsoft ends 'Bill and Jerry' ads as it preps to answer Apple

Yesterday, Valleywag wrote that Microsoft was canning its $300 million ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld after only two commercials. Today, it turns out the ads won't be pulled, just reformulated. Microsoft's campaign drew a mix of condemnation and praise for its odd approach to bolstering its image by ignoring the mud Apple and critics are slinging at Vista: Some found the new ads too confusing, while others — including us here at DVICE — were curious to see where its was all going.

While ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky has finished another spot featuring Gates and Seinfeld, it looks like we won't be enjoying their company for much longer — at least not with a Microsoft logo tacked on. Looks like the software giant wants the ad firm to concentrate on answering Mac's ongoing "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" ad war in a similar style, but with a twist. Microsoft will showcase 60 of its own real employees and tell its own story, a bit like how the Democratic National Convention had a "real Americans talking" segment, and ExxonMobile is running commercials featuring employees. Bill Gates and other celebrities may still be used, though no word on if Seinfeld will continue to show up.

To add an air of authenticity to the commercials, all of Microsoft's employees will also be accompanied by their respective email addresses. So now the question is: Will the pride and joy of real computer technicians curry the favor of the crowd against Apple's polished snark?

UPDATE: The new Microsoft ads are online. Check them out.

Via Valleywag, Gizmodo and the New York Times