Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Microsoft Gags on Puke Ad

msft-adMicrosoft’s first series of Web video ads for Internet Explorer 8 didn’t seem to garner much attention. But its latest one did: It features a married couple, an unspeakable porn site and a lot of vomit.

If you liked the “Mr. Creosote” sketch in “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life,” you’ll like this one. And if you didn’t…well, you’re like many other folks, some of whom complained loudly enough to get Microsoft (MSFT) to yank the ad, though it still lives in Google’s (GOOG) YouTube.

Microsoft’s explanation for the spot, and its removal, via an email to CNET:

We make a point of listening to our customers. We created the … video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it.

A reminder: These spots are not the work of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the high-profile ad shop that gets associated with most of Microsoft’s marketing work these days. They’re from Indiana-based Bradley and Montgomery and they’re directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, for whom I’ve already professed my admiration.

These were Goldthwait’s first commercials, though, and it will be interesting to see if he gets another shot. And in retrospect, he did hint that this might be coming when he talked to Techflash after the first of his browser ads hit the Web last month:

Well, the folks at (Bradley and Montgomery), the agency that wrote ‘em, I would have to credit them with my involvement, and also Microsoft. I think they were trying to do something that was a little less mainstream, and I think that’s (what led to) my involvement. Normally the corporate world is very frightened of hiring the dude from Police Academy to direct their stuff, so I’m flattered and I was really happy. There’s a couple more coming up, too, so I’m actually looking forward to those being released, because I think they’re a little more nutty in tone.

Want to see for yourself? Have at it. But don’t complain to us afterward.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work