Showing just how unhip being a PC can be, Microsoft has pulled out of a prime time Windows 7 sponsorship of a special by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. According to Microsoft, MacFarlane's style didn't "fit with the Windows brand." How very PC indeed.
Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show was slated to run commercial free, with McFarlane and fellow funnywoman Alex Borstein (the voice of FG's Lois) personally pitching Windows 7 within the content of the show itself. But according to Variety, Microsoft got cold feet after realizing that in between pitches, MacFarlane and Borstein would make Family Guy-style jokes, "including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest."
Neither Microsoft nor MacFarlane are strangers to cross-branding, though. For instance, Microsoft currently powers Ford's Sync hands-free stereo technology in a smattering of new automobiles aimed at younger consumers. Aside from inking a $100 million deal with Fox last year, MacFarlane struck a deal with Google to create the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, a series of Webisodes packing Family Guy-style humor and distributed by Google's Ad Sense network, complete with advertising messages built in. But the MacFarlane-Microsoft marriage, it seems, wasn't meant to be.
Microsoft originally entered the deal based on MacFarlane's "audience composition and creative humor of Family Guy," a Microsoft spokeswoman said. But at an Oct. 16 taping of the show, several executives (read: people over 40) were a bit shocked by the content. Apparently, said execs thought for some reason that MacFarlane and Borstein's humor would be some kind of departure from Family Guy's. Or perhaps none of them had ever actually seen the show.
Either way, Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show will air Nov. 8, but without the backing of Mister Softy, who will push Windows 7 at another party. And another sponsor will undoubtedly step up and fill the choice spot, perhaps a feminine hygiene product.