When I heard about Microsoft‘s Windows 7 tie-in with Family Guy I was slightly taken aback. Doesn’t Hollywood live and die by the Apple Mac? I thought so, which made me wonder why anyone in that industry would be pitching Microsoft products.
I may not have a specific answer to that (other then the most obvious one: money) but at least I now know the air date for the Family Guy special in which Windows 7 will be promoted, fiercely I imagine, to viewers of the hit series:
“The half-hour “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” will air at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and star series creator Seth MacFarlane and his co-star Alex Borstein. The special will air without traditional commercials and instead will feature Microsoft-branded programming that Fox said will blend with the show’s content.”
Now, this could go one of two ways: brilliant or horrible. If McFarlane and company craft something in which they don’t try and hide the baked-in advertising, it could work. 30 Rock has had pretty good success in a comedic capacity when it comes to product placement and is definitely something to emulate.
On the other hand, should the writers try and trick the audience into thinking they are not watching an ad for Windows 7, that could backfire. Considering the quality of the show, I’m less inclined to think they’ll hide what’s really going on and fess up. This should bring the audience in on the jokes and make it that much funnier.
When asked about this unique partnership Fox sales executive Jean Rossi said, “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with Windows 7 on such an exciting, highly collaborative marketing campaign featuring the very unique talents of Seth MacFarlane as he overhauls the old Hollywood tradition of the sponsored variety show by marrying Windows 7 messaging with content.”
Fox sales executive, eh? I get it now. Fox, as a massive corporate enterprise is probably still running Windows operating systems (most likely the antiquated Windows XP still). Phew! Rest easy Hollywood artisans, Seth McFarlance may not have betrayed you after all and is probably still pounding out Family Guy scripts on a trusty Mac.