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Microsoft apparently never saw 'Family Guy'

We're really starting to get the feeling our grandparents are the ones running Microsoft's marketing arm. First there was the whole Windows 7 launch party thing. (You'll notice we couldn't even bring ourselves to post about that one.) We gave the fuzzy kitten commercial a pass -- some of us have kids now and have learned to appreciate fuzziness. And kittens.

Now, according to Variety [via], Microsoft apparently has changed its deal regarding the Nov. 8 "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show." Turns out there were some crude jokes and unseemly humor. You know, the bread and butter of that show since it debuted. Windows 7 will still appear throughout the show, but Microsoft won't be doing heavy advertising during commercial breaks.

"We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas.  We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent."

So what began as an all-out pandering marketing push will now in all likelihood appear to be cheap and forced. If you're going to pull a stunt like this, go all out. bombard people for an hour. Otherwise, it's wasted.

Expecting "Family Guy" to do something other than its usual schtick is like asking Jack Bauer not to scream "Damn it!" every other line. Or like expecting a well-rounded person to appear on one of those "Real Housewives of ..." shows. Or like Brett Favre to retire gracefully. (Need we go on?)

Seriously, what did Microsoft think was going to happen?

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

5 Comments
  • "Seriously, what did Microsoft think was going to happen?" So I'm supposed to be angry at Microsoft for reviewing the show, and finding that they weren't comfortable with the end product? Maybe they knew what Family Guy was known for and game them a shot only to not like the result? That's their right and their responsibility towards their brand image. No one should expect Family Guy to deliver something bad enough for Microsoft to walk when MS came to them in the first place for this project. It doesn't mean that your grandpa is running MS marketing, but it does mean that adults are, and not some 19 year old that finds some of the crap from a typical Family Guy episode to be "humor"
  • Who told you to be *angry* at Microsoft? I think the point was no one should be *surprised* that Family Guy was a little over the top for their tastes and that perhaps, even *without* hindsight, this was a risky move for Microsoft. Anyone familiar with the show knows that except, evidently, Microsoft. It's now bad press and a waste of their money. On another note, it was a humorous article about a marketing misfire. *Sheeesh...* Microsoft struggles with being "hip" as their silly "launch parties" for W7 adequately demonstrated.
  • seems like everyone wins with this arrangement. lots of win7 references in the show, probably including a few negatives thrown in 'cos seth can't be bought outright and maintain any integrity, right? and no need for ms to spend more cash in ads during the show. win win. LOL gosh. what about some old fashioned, plain spoken authentic owning the troubles of the past, to build credibility with buyers. nah, that's too difficult. better to work with subversive humorists and oblique conceptual messaging.
  • I don't see why Microsoft was going to advertise during Family Guy anyway. That show sucks.
  • What the deuce?!