Microsoft commercial – what were they thinking?

by Claudia Havi Goffan

Microsoft should really think before approving a commercial like the one featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfield. That is, unless their tactic is to alienate the Hispanic community.

The Microsoft commercial is riddled with Hispanic stereotypes. First, the “churro” (would that be a metaphor for moist and juicy for Hispanics?), then the “Conquistador” (would that be the shoe or a Bill Gates allegory?), and third, the Hispanic family eating churros – of course, mother, father and three children – staring from outside of a shoe discount store.

To top it all off, the English phrase, “they run tight” is poorly translated into “ellos van apretados” in an attempt to convey that the shoe runs a size smaller and that both Bill and Jerry are friends (???) – Bill, do you (or your agency or your marketing department) even know what “ellos van apretados” means in Spanish? It’s not even close to the English version! If you are referring to the shoes, you could transliterate it into “son talles mas pequeños” and if you are referring to the closeness between the two characters, it could be “son muy amigos”.

Microsoft commercial – what were they thinking?

I am not even going to discuss about the ad credibility factor because, how believable is that Bill or Jerry shop at a shoe discount store? Or for that matter, that Bill Gates buys “pleather” shoes? Or that you would be able to eat an operating system?

Microsoft, you missed the mark and offended a large percentage of your Hispanic target market.

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