Microsoft Pulls Out Of Family Guy Sponsorship… Gets Half The Benefit For None Of The Money?

from the did-they-just-pull-one-over-on-Seth-Macfarlane? dept

In the past couple weeks a few folks had sent in various versions of the plan by Microsoft to sponsor an entire episode of the show Family Guy that would involve somehow weaving Microsoft Windows 7 into the story. While some found the whole concept to be “the end of the world,” that was pure nonsense. It was a perfect example of how advertising is content, and content is advertising. If the fear was that the episode would suck, well, then it wouldn’t act as a very good commercial for Microsoft, then, would it? If the fear was that the episode would be good, then what was the problem?

Either way… it appears that the whole thing is now dead. Reports are coming out that Microsoft has bailed out on the project, claiming that “the content was not a fit with the Windows brand.” My first reaction to this was that whoever approved the deal in the first place must not watch Family Guy very much, because the whole show is based on “not being a fit” with pretty much anything.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wonder if Microsoft just pulled a fast one on Fox and everyone else. It’s now received a ton of attention for the whole project… and doesn’t have to pay Fox any money. Perhaps Microsoft just out-Foxed Fox.

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Companies: fox, microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Pulls Out Of Family Guy Sponsorship… Gets Half The Benefit For None Of The Money?”

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26 Comments
John Fenderson (profile) says:

Heh. The funny thing is that Microsoft’s association with Family Guy didn’t besmirch Microsoft in my eyes. It besmirched Family Guy.

“If the fear was that the episode would suck, well, then it wouldn’t act as a very good commercial for Microsoft, then, would it?. If the fear was that the episode would be good, then what was the problem?”

I think the fear was that the episode would be effective advertising, not that it would suck or be good as entertainment. There are a lot of people who view Microsoft’s continued domination of the software business as a very bad thing for the software business.

Mikael (profile) says:

big MStake

I find it funny that they pulled out of a deal with a show who could’ve gotten them business with a key demographic. I’m thinking the same thing as “Weasley Misfit” with how they probably didn’t see any humor in what Family Guy was going to do. To restate Mike’s point, whoever made the deal probably just looked at the demographics and ratings for Family Guy and had probably never even seen the show. I was honesly surprised that MS would do a show with Family Guy.

R. Miles (profile) says:

The Fox returns to the henhouse.

Perhaps Microsoft just out-Foxed Fox.
Anyone here think Seth will take this lying down?

Heh. If Seth gets pissed, he’s going to take it out through Family Guy.

Instead of pushing a positive note for Windows 7, I can see an episode clearly showing Peter getting frustrated at “Windows Heaven” and ranting for 10 minutes why the operating system sucks.

That is, before Stewie comes along and uses the PC to try to kill Lois.

The episode will air a week before the holiday break.

senshikaze (profile) says:

my question is this:
how is an episode of family guy going to be funny when it centers on an OS? any OS? That sounds like an infomercial to me, not a entertaining thirty minutes. Why don’t I just go watch thirty minutes of commercials instead?
With this I get one long commercial with commercial breaks! So much better.
This was a retarded idea all around.

Bored_On_Break says:

Senshi Kaze

It is a pretty old idea actually. If you ever get a chance to see an old show from the fourties and fifties, you can see that this kind of advertising inside of a show was pretty common back then. There usually wasn’t much of an effect on the quality of writing on those shows either.

There is a modern version of it with the Degree deoderant sponsership of (part of) the third season of the Scifi channel show Eureka. Though I do have to admit that it was rather heavy handed and unsubtle as an ad campaign.

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