I’m A PC!

You know what really kills me (I mean besides a forearm shiver to the bridge of my nose)? When I read about a company (Microsoft, for example) that pays an agency (Crispin Porter, for example) $300 million for a campaign that turns out to be mediocre at best.

Am I jealous? You bet… not about the mediocre campaign, but about the budget. I can’t tell you how many times we have outperformed the objectives of a campaign only to be rewarded with a “you’ve done a great job, but we are going to reel in our marketing spending next year” call from clients. I know, I need to find a better class of clients.

But now I am off topic. Today I want to celebrate the PC, the Pretentious Campaign.

So long ago
Was it in a dream, was it just a dream?
I know, yes I know
Seemed so very real, it seemed so real to me

I have no desire to pick on CP+B; they have done some great stuff. But “I’m a PC” began and will end as a stupid, pretentious exercise in chest pounding. Be honest, you could give a 10-year-old a digital camera and write anything for Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates and millions of people would have watched it – on TV, on YouTube, on Microsoft’s web site… anywhere.

The evolution of dance (which is an amazingly funny video) has been viewed by more than 100 million! “Star Wars according to a 3 year old” has been viewed by more than eight million! Who the heck isn’t going to tune in to find out what the odd couple pairing of Jerry and Bill are doing?

But what and where is the payoff? Shift your drawers, Bill. Do the robot, Bill. Give me all your money, Bill. We’re creating a purely pretentious campaign, Bill. No one will get it, Bill. It’s all make believe, Bill. You’re eyes are getting heavy, Bill. You’re asleep, Bill. It’s all a dream, Bill.

Took a walk down the street
Thru the heat whispered trees
I thought I could hear (hear, hear, hear)
Somebody call out my name as it started to rain

According to Ad Age, “Microsoft sparked a dialogue in the Seinfeld ad that isn’t there in the PC ads.” Yeah, here is the typical dialogue it sparked:

“Dude, did you see the new Microsoft ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates?”
“No; what were they about?”
“Dude, I have no idea, but they are hilarious. Freaking Seinfeld and Bill Gates. Check it out, I’m sure they’re on YouTube.”
“Cool.”

Then comes the deadly drone ads: I’m a PC. I’m a PC. I’m a nerd and I’m a PC. I’m a scuba diver and I’m a PC. I’m not even curious.

I have always believed that if you throw enough money at something – regardless of how bad the strategy and/or creative are – you can still achieve a result. God only knows what the result will be, and whatever it is, I am pretty sure that all the kids over at Apple are rolling around on the floor laughing about it. If that’s what Microsoft and CP+B were going for with their $300 million, then congratulations.

Dream, dream away
Magic in the air, was magic in the air?
I believe, yes I believe
More I cannot say, what more can I say?

Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé

[Editorial Note: John Lennon sings the strange phrase “Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé” in his song “#9 Dream.” According to John, it doesn’t mean anything… it is just a phrase that came to him in a dream and he decided to base a song around it.]

Maybe it means “I’m a PC.”

Jim Sweeney

Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.