Moist and Chewy: The Saga of Bill and Jerry

You know I love those Mac vs. PC commercials, even if they are terribly unfair to Microsoft.

Justin Long (Mac Guy) from Strange Wildnerness

You’ve got to love Justin Long, if not for the Mac/PC ads, for some of his movies. My favorites are Accepted and Strange Wilderness, although he was in some other favorites like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Idiocracy, they were smaller roles.

“I’m very, very computer illiterate… I get the worst of both worlds; I look like a geeky hacker but I don’t know anything about computers”.

Justin Long

John Hodgman

But John Hodgman is even more interesting. He really makes the ads. His dry, understated humor really shines in the Mac/PC ads.

While he plays the role of a PC in the campaign, Hodgman is actually a Mac user: “I bought the very first Mac, or convinced my father to buy it, in 1984.”

John Hodgman

I first heard of him through some podcasts so long ago I’ve forgotten which ones he was on, but I remember them talking about his book, The Areas Of My Expertise, and the chapters on 700 Hobo Names in particular. Listen to the 700 Hobo Names MP3, that’s Jonathan Coulton playing in the background. A site devoted to drawings of the hobos has also been created.

So, back to the ads. The more recent Mac vs. PC commercials have been somewhat less on the mark and I think are really reaching to make any valid point about Macs or against Windows. Once in a while, there is a good one. The recent Pizza Box one is different. But I think they’ve run their course. How much longer can they continue to twist the truth and omit the good points of Windows without becoming a parody of themselves and backfiring on Apple?

Microsoft has pretty much ignored these ads all along, so it was a surprise to hear that they were coming out with a series of commercials using Jerry Seinfeld to counter them. We’ve been looking forward to seeing the first one, and find out how MS is going to take on Apple.

Well, the first one has been airing all weekend and it’s leaving almost everyone confused.

Watch it yourself, if you haven’t already seen it. It was on like five times during the Sunday football coverage. If you understand it, you’re doing better than 99% of the U. S. Population.

While it’s undoubtedly the first of a series of commercials, and is setting the stage for more developments in the saga of Bill and Jerry, it’s so far, been pretty much inscrutable. Does it mean anything? Are the shoes a metaphor for Windows? What do the Hispanic people outside the shoe store window mean? Or does that symbolize people left out of the computer experience? And what about the Churros? (Or whatever they are called. You don’t see them around here, they must be a west-coast or south-west thing.) I guess a soft pretzel would do as well.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed seeing Jerry and Bill hang out, and look forward to more episodes of that, I still don’t get what it has to do with Microsoft or Windows or how it addresses Apple’s unfair ads. I guess, we’ll all have to wait and keep watching.

Posted in Humour, News, Tech Stuff, TV
3 comments on “Moist and Chewy: The Saga of Bill and Jerry
  1. M. Moretti says:

    My take on this commercial: you’re sitting at your computer looking through the “Windows”. There are the ubiquitous ads, including one for shoes, which you are interested in and might want to buy online. At the same time, you are in Bill Gate’s world pretending you are at a real mall, evidently in California, which is why there is the Latino family and the churros. (For the record, yes, churros are vaguely equivalent to the soft pretzel and are not in this part of the US.) I think “Conquistador” is the new product about to be unveiled. Whether it is software or an actual computer, I can’t tell. You may be on to something that the Latino family represents people not used to using computers, although I doubt the new product is something aimed just at Spanish-speaking people. The “clown card” obviously is a poke at Jerry Seinfeld’s other commercials for a charge card company. And I think there are a couple of typical Jerry Seinfeld jokes in there just for the heck of it. Possibly this is some new product to make online shopping easier and more secure. But can it send you churros? Further commercials shall be interesting.

    Future commercials

  2. M. Moretti says:

    And now the commercial is being shown minus the Latino family. Hmmm. And what is “moist and chewy”? The churros or those water-logged leather shoes named “conquistador? This is becoming more intriguing than insurance company ads or the free-credit-report guy.

  3. M. Moretti says:

    Update 1.: According to the national news, the Bill Gates-Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign has been scrapped. Now we’ll be forever left scratching our heads as to exactly what was “moist and chewy”.

    Update 2.: The October 2008 issue of PC Magazine has an article wherein the author of the article explains his annoyance with the “Mac vs. PC” ads because, as he explains to his gloating brother-in-law, a Mac is a PC. Mac is a brand name for one company’s particular PC or personal desktop computer.

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