Microsoft won't just rely on Windows 7's "it's not Vista" street cred and positive hype to sell its new operating system. According to Advertising Age, the company's multimillion-dollar advertising campaign will include a sponsored, commercial-free Family Guy special on Fox.
The special, entitled Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show (after show actors and writers Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein), will air on November 8. AdAge says you can expect a mix of "live-action 'Family Guy' musical performances, animated shorts and celebrity guest appearances".
Microsoft ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky collaborated with Family Guy MacFarlane to integrate Windows 7 advertising into the show content. AdAge doesn't say exactly what that will entail, but it got Microsoft to elaborate a little bit:
"You'll see us deeply integrated into the content ... you'll hear a lot about how Windows 7 can help you simplify your PC -- it's simple, fast and easy to use," said Gayle Troberman, general manager of consumer engagement and advertising at Microsoft. She went on: "Think about metaphors and examples we might use, talking about how simple things are. We'll be evoking the cast of 'Family Guy' in some interesting ways that integrate the product messages."
MacFarlane and Crispin aren't strangers: they previously worked together on an "online-video series that ran on YouTube and Google's AdSense network and was sponsored by Crispin client Burger King." That campaign included shorts like Cat Staff Meeting, which have the same raw, non-sequitur humor and cartoon art style as Family Guy. (Thanks to Engadget for the tip.)