'Eternal Sunshine' director behind Microsoft Seinfeld ad?

More details on Microsoft's Vista / Seinfeld ad campaign.

Michel Gondry, the innovative director of films, music videos and numerous TV commercials, is directing at least one of the TV spots starring Jerry Seinfeld touting Microsoft's Windows operating system, according to numerous reports.

Blogs in the New York City borough of Brooklyn reported in mid-July that locations including the Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and parts of the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens were being closed down for a Microsoft television commercial shot by the French director and the production company he is affiliated with, Partizan Entertainment.

The trade magazine, Advertising Age, reported at the time that Seinfeld was rumored to be in the Brooklyn-shot commercial, though it did not confirm it.

Ad Age did confirm the involvement of the ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday is overseeing the $300 million Windows advertising campaign starring Seinfeld.

Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Journal reported that the Seinfeld commercial, for which the comedian will be paid about US$10 million, will debut on September 4.

Microsoft wants to boost the flagging public perception of Vista, which has been hurt by Apple Inc.'s "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" TV ads depicting a young hipster as a Mac and a stodgy nerd as a Windows PC.

The 54-year-old Seinfeld, however, may not be the ideal pitchman to win back younger consumers. The married-with-kids baby boomer can no longer claim the same edgy appeal as when his hit comedy was still in original broadcast a decade ago.

Gondry's involvement could help in that regard. Gondry, 45, is best known for his film, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, which featured his trademark inventive and dreamy visual style. He also directed this year's, Be Kind, Rewind.

Belying his artsy reputation, Gondry is more prolific and critically acclaimed for his music videos for bands such as Bjork and Radiohead and TV commercials for The Gap,Levi's,Nike ,and others.

For tech companies, Gondry has made commercials for Motorola's RAZR2 mobile phone, AMD,Earthlink, and Hewlett-Packard.

For HP, Gondry starred in the ad and talked about using an HP desktop PC to edit video footage, record music and produce his Web site.

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Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
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