Microsoft is taking a page out of 50’s era TV variety show advertising. Only this isn’t Sid Caeser and “Your Show of Shows”. It’s Peter Griffin and “Family Guy”.
The maker of Windows signed a deal with Fox to sponsor a variety show produced by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and the voice of the family patriarch Peter Griffin. Taking a cue from the single-sponsored shows of old, this planned mix of live action, music and animation will feature Windows-branded information throughout the program in lieu of commercials.
As Stewie Griffin would say, “What the deuce?”
With good reviews of Windows 7, particularly a near glowing assessment from the dean of technology writers, Walt Mossberg, why would Microsoft resort to promoting a product on a show with humor (read raunch) close to “South Park”? Type in “Windows 7 Reviews” into your browser and you’ll get pages upon pages of what tech types already think of the new OS.
Microsoft’s creative team at Crispin, Porter & Bogusky will walk the tightrope of how much promotion will be too much without turning it into an infamous (and cringe worthy) “Windows 7 Launch Party” infomercial. But if Microsoft decides to go heavy handed, the audience won’t be laughing with Microsoft, it will be laughing at them.
I’m unsure why Microsoft is concentrating so much time, energy and cash on the demographic that watches “Family Guy”. This infortainommercial could turn out to be like Super Bowl beer commercials. Singular, funny, creative, yet unable to sell product.